Moscow distributor of canned fish launching high class sprat label

November 9, 2006 16:42

Despite a strong supply on the Russian canned fish market canned sprats remain one of the most popular products enjoying a strong demand, according to GB magazine.

Now the sprat business is going through restructuring. Just like in other food market segments canneries have been switching from production of unified product in standard packaging (for sprats it is a round can with black and golden label designed long time ago by Soviet painters) to branding of their produce. Wholesale companies operating on the Russian market of canned seafood have been actively introducing own labels. Their aim is to highlight their product among other similar products and make the consumer believe that buying their labeled sprats he or she can always count on its high quality.

In March 2006 Russian consumers were offered a totally new sprat label Yantar Baltiki (Amber of the Baltic) designed by Prodos Group in cooperation with Latvian processor IMS. Prodos Group is described by the report as one of the leading wholesalers on the Russian market of canned fish.

Chairman of Directors’ Board of Prodos Group Sergey Maslov explains that the idea to create a new canned sprat label has come from the group’s dissatisfaction of the impersonal black label. At present there are more than 20 plants producing canned sprats in golden black tins. Some of them keep on working in compliance with current standards, while others try to save on the raw fish and the product quality. As a result, the consumer can no more trust familiar black tins 100% as it is not clear whether it contains traditional high quality Baltic sprats or a low quality substitute.

In developing the “Amber of the Baltic” label Prodos Group has issued a much more global challenge than just to supply the Russian consumer with high quality sprats. The group has decided to introduce the product which would have no analogues in taste.

When developing the recipe the group’s specialists have taken into account such an important moment as traditions of canned sprat consumption in Russia. The group’s specialists and the plant’s engineers have developed a line of 7 canned sprat products under the “Amber of the Baltic” label: classic (in oil), in tomato sauce, with lemon, dill, onion, garlic and “hot” (with pepper). The recipes imply addition of oil-soluble extracts from the above mentioned natural products thus enriching smoked sprats with a certain taste and aroma. Some products of the line, e.g. sprats with dill and those with garlic, have no analogues on the Russian market yet.

Specialists of Prodos Group have also made efforts to create a new attractive design of the new product line. All the products marketed under “the Amber of the Baltic” label have a uniform design of a golden pattern against a coloured background, but each particular product has been ascertained a certain colour chosen under the associative criterion. More specifically, sprats in tomato sauce under the above mentioned label are canned into rich red tins, sprats with dill – into green tins, sprats with garlic – into lilac tins. Market analysts say that consumer is guided mostly by the format and colour of packaging rather than inscriptions and pictures on the label. The statement is especially true for those consumers who are used to purchase fish in small outlets with a counter and one salesman. Such shops still dominate in Russia in terms of retail outlets number.

All the products of “the Amber of the Baltic” line are produced in easy-to-open cans (with a pull ring). The product weight is either 160g or 240g.

IMS plant

The new product line is made by IMS plant based in the coastal town of Mersragse near Riga, Latvia. IMS is a famous Latvian canned fish producer and an old partner of Prodos Group.

The plant is furnished with state-of-the-art processing equipment and certified to the EU and Russian standards (GOST). In particular, Russia’s quality inspection Rostest has examined the group’s new product line and found it compliant with all current standards.

Sprat fit for canning is harvested only from December to March.

Now the products under the Amber of the Baltic label are on display in most of the retail shops in Moscow and other regions of Russia. The group says it has seen not only unexpectedly high growth rates of sales, but also changes in the sales structure of the line’s products: while some six months ago the ratio of sales of traditional sprats under “the Amber of the Baltic” label and sprats with various flavors amounted to 100 to 20-25 correspondingly, by early November the ratio changed to 100 to 50.

The nearest plans of Prodos Group provide for organization of supplies of sprats under the Amber of the Baltic label to a number of Moscow chains which have already been contracted by the group.

Prodos Group

Prodos Group has been working on the Russian food market since 1991. The group is engaged in wholesale supplies of canned fish, meat and milk and groceries. The group’s range includes more than 200 canned food items made by leading producers from the Baltic states, Kaliningrad, the Russian Far East, North and South. Along with the above, the group’s range includes products under its own labels of “the Amber of the Baltic” and “Revelskiye Shproty” (extra-class sprats made from fresh fish).

More information from:

Prodos Group, 8B Ul.Roterta, Moscow, Russia; tel: +7(495) 5105900, e-mail:

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