Elimination of the holes: how "Karat" changed its shareholder and revived cheese brands

Just a year ago retailers did not want to talk to Karat. Its debts to retailers grew, but by December 2015, Karat updated its product range, changed the packaging and relaunched the brands. Sales rose by 68% by April 2016.
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The general director of the Moscow factory "Carat" Paul Rosenfeld puts on the table colorful jars with curd cheese Violette. "When we started to supply all the network, category managers have had the feeling that they are put on the shelves of a new product for the market - boasting Rosenfeld. - It is not associated with "Carat", this we achieved. "

A year ago, retail chains did not want to talk to the "Carat". Small volumes of processed cheese and cheese shipped X5 Retail Group and "Auchan". Debts other retailers for the supply of torn approached 2 billion rubles. But by December 2015, "Carat" updated range, changed the packaging and relaunched its brands "Wave", "Friendship", "Amber", and then Violette. Sales for April 2016 increased by 68% compared to November 2015.

"When, in January 2014 I came to the" Carat "as a crisis manager, the plant produced 340 tons of production capacity at 2,500 tons", - says Rosenfeld, a former partner at Berkshire Advisory Group consulting company. To understand the situation he was invited by the largest AktionEP Enterprises - Communication Bank, received a controlling interest for the debts of the plant. The plant also owed to Sberbank, the bank "Zenith", suppliers, trading networks - in the amount of 3.5 billion rubles. Contact the bank expects to recover their money and sell "Karat". And you can sell, if you raise production and to capitalize on the brand enterprises.

In the summer of 2014 Rosenfeld oversubscribed agreements with creditor banks and received 500 million rubles from the Bank of Communications to the intensive care unit, "Karat". With the new management team, he developed a plan for the withdrawal of plant crisis. The primary task - to resume the supply of products in retail chains.

While some managers dealt with penalties of the retailers for the failure of the timing of deliveries, while others lined up a marketing strategy and a revised product line. The assortment made, processed cheese and cheese plus beaded cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese.

In 2014, "Karat" has received 1.9 billion rubles in revenues and showed a loss above 242 million rubles. Compete "Karat" comes with such giants as Valio (mpka Viola), Hochland (brand Almette and Hochland's) and Lactalis (President Brand). All of these companies were factories in Russia. After the introduction of the product embargo Valio started producing processed cheese plant near Moscow in its December, 2014. "Another problem that has existed for" Karat ": processed cheese" Wave "," Friendship "," Amber "and produced by other manufacturers - says Paul Rosenfeld. - The consumer simply did not know what "Karat". Man buys something and called us with the words "you have bad cheese." A manufacturer of something else. "

What should be the product and packaging, to preserve the continuity and at the same time stand out among the competition? The development of new logos and designs commissioned branding agency Depot WPF. Marketers are proposed to keep the umbrella brand "Karat", and products divided into several categories and accordingly issue the package. The first category - processed cheese - decided to pack in plastic trays with bright color fields and figures. The color palette is consistent with the old label. "We decided toand leave the geometry as a new interpretation of retro, but with a modern edge. The basis of style took Soviet Suprematism beginning of XX century ", - says creative director Alex Fadeyev Depot WPF. In the first weeks of restarting on a box with "waves", "Friendship" and "Amber" came up to put on a cardboard sleeve with images of triangles of cheese in foil, which was once famous for "Karat".

The former design Violette (meadow, the cow and wooden spoon with curd cheese) Branding experts have changed radically. "In the design of packaging curd cheese lacks freshness, ease and naturalness, but the emotions and sentiments not, - says the strategist Depot WPF Farhad Kuchkarov. - This product consumers are often eaten for breakfast, so we added color to a bright start to the day. " Lids of jars drawn up so that the buyer could easily distinguish the taste for colors and logo and the picture took shape in a fun way munching "Pac-Man" of computer games.

By the end of 2015, plans to increase sales in retail chains was performed by nearly 100%. It was promoted by a ban on inLake in the Russian foreign cheese brands, and managers "Karat" dealt with debts to retailers. Products "Karat" - is that in the old form - reappeared in "Dixie" network, "Okay", Billa, Selgros, "Faithful," Siberian "Mary-Ra".

Run all Rosenfeld updated products scheduled for December 2015. "We had to shoot from all guns at once - to introduce new retrosyry, and our very strong product Violette, beaded and curd", - he said. But led manufacturer of packaging for Violette, and restart curd cheese had to be postponed for four months. A "wave", "Friendship" and "Amber" was presented to customers in accordance with the plan. "Karat" has launched an advertising campaign on television, outdoor advertising in Moscow stores tasting.

According to the commercial director of "Carat" Julia Ivanova, an average increase in sales during the tasting in one retail point reached 300%.

In the process of restarting, says Fadeyev, Depot WPF experts communicate with customers - of the answers, it was clear that the roofingon with the new design, they drew attention to processed cheese from the "Carat". "Since the beginning of 2016 the average monthly turnover of range" Karat "in network" Dixie "and" Victoria "increased 1.5 times - confirms the Director of External Relations" Dixy Group "Catherine Kumanin. - Bright design draws attention and highlights the product on the shelf. However, in order to fully assess the impact of the re-branding to the buyer, it takes time. " "Carat" shows good dynamics, - said Anna Sidorova, Deputy Director of the direction of purchases of food storage hypermarkets short term "Globe". - Today we are working with them in almost all categories: processed cheese, curd cheese Violette, cottage cheese, butter. "

Resets continue: new packaging produced granulated cottage cheese (former "Cheese home"). Among the processed cheeses have new flavors under the umbrella brand "Karat" - cream, ham, mushrooms. The company's products are now sold in twenty major commercial networks, not counting smalloznitsy.

If in the first quarter of 2015. Revenue "Karat" has made 802 million rubles, for the first quarter of 2016 exceeded 1.2 billion rubles. Aggregate plant debt decreased to 2.2 billion rubles. restructuring and development plan is designed to 2018 and General Manager of "Carat" assures that there is no lag targets.

"We are currently working at the limit of production capacity. Gradually we leave the HoReCa and to increase the volume in the retail sector. According to Violette's for sure, it's our most promising product now - says Rosenfeld, spreading on a slice of bread, cream cheese. - And if while we're on the market for third and fourth place, then soon our accurate will be the second. "