With love (and sweetness) from Russia

January 29, 2007

Saddened by stalled and complicated WTO negotiations? Tired of middle classes making a scapegoat out of globalisation because their income has not risen , mostly for independent reasons? Overdosed by posh WEFs and thoughtful about crumbling WSFs? Getting depressed by the winter weather? Disillusioned by the Venezuelas and Thailands and Russias going down the authoritarian path and Chinas announcing they’re going to control the internet even more? Disgusted by commodity stories and Chinas supporting dirty regimes in Africa? Worn out from witnessing the same old Russian dramas and oil-and gas nightmares? Can’t hear anything more about Iraq and the Middle East?

Then let’s have some (bitter-)sweet globalisation stories, for a change. With love, from the most unexpected corner: Russia.

According to businessneweurope (bne) (info reserved for subscribers):

“The world’s largest chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley will purchase 80% in Russia’s number-seven chocolatecompany Korkunov, Wrigley announced last week.

Wrigley is to pay $300m for the stake with the deal expected to close in spring 2007 following regulatory approval. The American giant, which entered the Russian market in 1991, built a chewing gum factory near St Petersburg in 1999 and currently holds about 70% of the local chewing gum market, will receive $55m in cash tax incentives. (…)

Russians are notorious chocolate eaters, favouring darker chocolate than the milk chocolate prevalent in Western Europe, and according to analysts they scoffed some $3.5bn worth of the stuff in 2006, up 15% on the previous year.”

Further:

“Belgian Chocolate goes Russian”, so the same bne today:

“Tashir Group, a Russian real estate and retail group that comprises over 100 companies, has purchased the
exclusive franchise rights for the Belgian chocolatier Daskalides, the group announced last week.

Tashir will introduce the Daskalides brand to the Russian market and plans to open some 30 chocolate
boutiques, capturing at least 30% of the premium chocolate market within three years. Tashir analysts
estimate that each boutique will generate sales of between RUR300,000 ($11,290) and RUR1m ($37,630) per month.”

Chocolate – the best antidepressant!

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