Its own bun is closer to a hamburger // Co-owner of the Russian Burger King invested in the bakery business

Alexander Kolobov, co-owner of Shokoladnitsa Group of Companies and Russian Burger King, has a new project. His company launched a RUB1.5bn hamburger buns plant in the Moscow region, with Burger King restaurants as its first customer. The company is negotiating with other participants in the catering market and plans to go retail. Experts point out that only certain flours are suitable for such products, and the products are not intended for long-term transportation.

Burger King in Russia has localized the production of hamburger buns at the Gipfel plant near Moscow, a representative of the restaurant chain told Kommersant. According to him, this year it is planned to purchase about 150 million items. Gipfel is a new project of Alexander Kolobov, beneficiary of Shokoladnitsa Group of Companies (manages coffee shops of the same name, Coffee House, Wabi Sabi chains) and co-owner of the owner of the Burger King Russian master franchise. As follows from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, he owns 90% of Gipfel LLC, the rest belongs to General Director Ilya Chernomzava. According to the Ministry of Investment and Innovation of the Moscow Region, the company has invested more than RUB 1.5 billion in the construction of the plant. The current capacity is up to 48 thousand buns per hour, it is possible to increase production up to 72 thousand units per hour and expand the range.

As Aleksandr Kolobov told Kommersant, the category of hamburgers is the most growing in the restaurant market, which guarantees demand in the medium term, and buns are one of the ingredients with a production deficit in Russia.

According to him, its own plant also neutralizes the risk of fluctuations in the exchange rate, and the capacity of Gipfel will completely cover the needs of Burger King in Russia.

According to its own data, there are now about 700 restaurants under the management of Burger King in the Russian Federation. Cyprus-based Burger King Russia Ltd is owned by Xomeric Holdings Ltd, which is associated with the Ukrainian ICU group, Gladerom Investment Ltd, close to Alexander Kolobov, owned by VTB Shushary Land LLC, and Burger King Europe GmbH.

Ilya Chernomzav told Kommersant that fast food chain restaurants should become the main consumers of Gipfel’s products.

The company is currently negotiating supplies with other players, and it is also planning to launch the product in retail chains. The brand is still in the process of registration, says Mr. Chernomzav. Gipfel has already filed applications with Rospatent for the Original Buns, Liberty Buns and United Buns trademarks.

Restcon executive director Andrey Petrakov notes that given the common owners, Gipfel can supply Burger King products at a discount, but hardly significantly below the market price. According to him, the main goal of the project, apparently, was to close the deficit for these restaurants, and the enterprise can find new consumers both among smaller-scale chains and small establishments. Russian McDonald’s says 99% of its products come from local suppliers and are fully supplied with local buns, and the main supplier of the Bimbo chain QSR has launched a second line in Russia. In Shokoladnitsa they say that Gipfel has not yet produced products from the chain’s assortment, but purchases are possible in the future. KFC did not answer questions.

Yuri Katsnelson, President of the Russian Guild of Bakers and Confectioners (ROSPiK), explains that while the Gipfel assortment for Burger King is represented, in fact, chilled semi-finished products, primarily suitable for the needs of one restaurant chain.

According to him, in retail in the world, such products account for 5-10% of the total consumption of bakery products, special flour of a certain quality is needed, and it can be difficult to supply semi-finished products over long distances. In 2020, according to ROSPiK estimates, sales of bread and bakery products in Russia increased by 2.9-3.3%, to 801-805 billion rubles, year-on-year.

Anatoly Kostyrev

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