Two years after the opening of its first subsidiary in Moscow Salov Group – one of the main Italian operators in the olive oil sector, owner of the Sagra brands (for the Italian market) and Filippo Berio (leading brand abroad) – has already become the second importer of oil in Russia and the first Italian importer. The opening of the Moscow branch in 2016 was a fundamental step in the growth path undertaken by the company in 2008, which began with the classic distribution model: through the importer. Since then, Salov has recorded a continuous growth in volumes and interest from Russian consumers, confirmed by a research that highlighted the great potential of the market. Since 2012, the Italian company based in Lucca coordinated the activities of the distributor before the opening of a direct branch.
The growth of Salov in Russia
In terms of volume, the performance grew by 40% compared to the years prior to 2016. This result is even more important considering the great difficulties that exports to Russia have experienced in recent years. In a very short time, in 2017 alone, Salov Group was able to expand the presence of its products in all federal chains acquiring new, important customers such as the Pyaterochka and Magnit chain. In the large-scale distribution, according to Nielsen in the two months of December 2017 and January 2018 the company reached the top position both in value (12%) and in volume (13.6%). Expectations are even better in the coming future, as Salov is planning to place its products in regional and local distribution chains. Investments are continuing to expand the range, creating products specifically designed for this market. The foodservice sector is also functional to growth. The current year started with a strategic agreement signed with Dolce & Salato, the company responsible for the introduction of products to the large fast and slow food and fine dining chains. After a few months the Chefs of Eataly, The Oven, Chaikona, White Rabbit, Semifreddo, and Shokoladnitsa are using Filippo Berio oil in the kitchen.
The business model
The business model applied in Russia, as in other countries where Salov is the leading Italian oil (USA and UK), was not only based on numbers and data; it was above all a cultural commitment. For this reason, a new partnership was also started with Rose, one of the first agencies in Russia to introduce structured marketing and communication projects in the 1990s and to collaborate with international brands. The Rose team will organize activities to engage consumers, with the primary objective of spreading the culture of olive oil, as part of a healthy diet and a typical Italian lifestyle to which Russians look with great interest. Having achieved sector leadership in the USA and in the UK, thanks to its leadership in Russia the Salov Group consolidated its position on international markets (exports account for 65% of total turnover), while it is already planning to enter two new markets: Germany and Brazil.