Emmi is increasingly expanding outside Switzerland

Emmi is increasingly expanding outside Switzerland

Emmi's licencing deal with Unimilk could provide the group with a platform for further expansion in Russia, a senior executive at the Swiss dairy giant told just-food today (7 May).

Matthias Kunz, head of Emmi's international division, said the new agreement on probiotic drinks could be a step towards the Swiss firm launching more products in Russia.

"We open up a distribution partner for other Emmi-branded concepts in the future. We have no plans right now [but] there is potential," Kunz told just-food.

Emmi already sells "speciality" cheese products in Russia through a separate importer and the company would continue with this agreement, Kunz said.

The launch of probiotic drink Imunocomplex alongside Russian dairy processor Unimilk comes in a growing but fledgling market for such products in Russia.

Kunz said Danone and Russian dairy group Wimm-Bill-Dann had already launched probiotic drinks in the country but he insisted the Emmi-Unimilk venture had the "opportunity to grow" in that segment.

The Imunocomplex drinks will be made at an Emmi site in Switzerland exported to Russia, although both companies plan for Unimilk starting local production in the future. Kunz refused to be drawn on a timetable for when Russian production could start.

The agreement with Unimilk is the latest of two Emmi forays outside Switzerland in the last six months.

In December, Emmi bought a 25% stake in French cheese packaging specialist Diprola, which trades under the Schöpfer name.

The Swiss firm also signed a collaboration with Venchiaredo, a specialist in fresh cheese and mozzarella in Italy.