The lime mystery: how Laimon Fresh became the most successful new brand of soda

The owners and creators of the Laimon Fresh brand prefer to keep it in the shade
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Why is it good for business?

Smoky the summer of 2010 the Russian blogosphere was filled with admiring comments about the new lemonade Laimon Fresh: «very refreshing in the hot weather," "an amazing combination of mint, lemon and lime ..." Advertising and packaging - dark green bank with the image of citrus and mint - promoted "natural "product. By the end of 2012, according to Euromonitor, the drink won 8.8% of the Russian market of soft drinks (for comparison: the share of 7UP - 28,9%).

Oddly enough, the creators of the brand, little is known. For cans and bottles Laimon Fresh reports that a drink made on the Tver plant, "United Bottling Group" by the Swiss company GreenMe license. On GreenMe website you can read that the firm was founded in 1993, its "activities are based on the principles of innovation and creativity," but we can not find any address or phone - offered only to fill "contact form". According to the Commercial Register of Switzerland, GreenMe AG is really established in 1993, but until September 2010 called Pharmachem AG and was renamed in connection with the change of activityti - trade with pharmaceutical and chemical raw materials to investment consulting services. The company has twice changed its legal address and it looks like the office itself has not.

The official group discussions Laimon Fresh "VKontakte" among the responses Report can be found as follows: the concept of a drink invented marketing agency "Marketing Lounge", and in the creation of the recipe, "was attended by Western companies." General Director of "Marketing Lounge" Vladimir confirmed Mihnevich of Forbes, the agency engaged in the withdrawal of the brand on the market, but declined to be interviewed, citing the "obligation to the client." Forbes found the phone number of the director of "Jesse More Greenman Rus" Vladimir Mushenkova, but he replied that he is no longer involved in the company and will not tell anything.

Why brand owners and creators prefer to keep its history in the shade?

The company, which produced Laimon Fresh, opened in 2007. Russian firm to run it "Heppilend" (soft drinks manufacturer Jaguar, Red Devil, Trophy, Casanova, Black Russian) and the SwissArogla Verpackungs und Service (specialization, according to the register of the Canton of Zug, - trade in packaging materials, machinery and raw materials for the food industry). "Heppilend" Olga Kurbatova founded in the late 1990s to place orders at third party refineries, and in 2003 established its own production, based on which the plant "United Bottling Group» (UBG) was built. Arogla received a 49% stake in the company in exchange for investments.

It remains an open question, as a company with a registered capital of 200 000 Swiss francs (at the time of the investment agreement) has found the necessary $ 30 million. UBG has become the largest producer of alcoholic drinks in Russia. Its revenue in 2008, according to SPARK, amounted to 4.6 billion rubles. In addition to cocktails, "United Bottling Group" released on the orders of drinks PepsiCo and iced tea Ahmad Tea. On the home market for the company at that time it was restless - increased excise taxes on alcohol. To lobby for the interests of the industry Olga Kurbatova established and headed the National Association of weak alcohol (NASA).

The company tried to diversify production. In 2009, he began in UBGlet Hi-Sky drinking water. Brand promotion agency was engaged in "Marketing Lounge", which was headed by a former director of marketing for "Heppilenda" Vladimir Mihnevich. In his charge were all alcoholic former employer brands. Now a legal entity of the company "Heppilend" is being liquidated, its assets passed to UBG, and brands - to a number of offshore structures in different jurisdictions.

The application for registration Laimon Fresh Rospatent received in April 2010. Franchisor trademark, according to the statement of Rospatent, a Cyprus-based company "Giontas Holdings Limited". Remarkably, it also owns the brand of champagne Richelieu, which is intended to release "Heppilend". At first, banks Laimon Fresh in the production data mentioned partnership with Arogla. GreenMe umbrella brand was registered in Russia in October 2010, and of "Jesse More Greenman Rus" - only in August of 2011.

Under the auspices of GreenMe transferred Laimon Fresh and Hi-Sky water. "For the Russian consumer Swiss brand synonymous with quality and creates trust. And qualitiesmust go in tandem with natural healing effect, "- says the businessman Mikhail Seleznev, created with partners from the Swiss brand of cosmetics dental Blanche et Brillante. It failed negotiations with Olga Kurbatova. For some time she manages NASA, and a spokesman for the association Forbes said he did not know how to contact her.

Starting Laimon Fresh has been carefully prepared. The advertising campaign was launched in June 2010 simultaneously in Moscow and St. Petersburg on multiple channels, including the First, TNT and MTV, in the subway, and Cosmopolitan magazine. If in fact the total budget "Marketing Lounge", according to the AD Index, amounted to 51 million rubles, in 2011 about 60 million rubles was spent on promotion only Laimon Fresh (for comparison: Fanta advertising budget is about 150 million rubles). "The idea of ​​lime drink has been winning, since no one had ever thought of making a mojito in a Bottle" - says a former employee of "Marketing Lounge". In the blogosphere - probably not without the participation of the agency - a drink dubbed "non-alcoholic mojito" .In magazines advertising Laimon Fresh housed together with recipes forkteyley based on it, social media is a contest for mixes with lime lemonade.

Distribution Laimon Fresh organized Ltd "Tornado" (registered at the same address as the "United Bottling Group"). Sell ​​drink took many companies traded UBG products. After successfully entering the capital markets the brand went into the regions. "The contract with Laimon Fresh seemed a promising and interesting - a product with natural raw materials, cool design. We provided him with distribution in all distribution channels, and the drink became popular almost immediately ", - says Ilya Svyazhina, Ural" The first trade company Sales Director. "

Promoting the brand, "Marketing Lounge" has focused on the ecology and naturalness. Official Group brand in social networks, "animating" and picture messages on healthy lifestyles, interesting places on the planet and technological updates. But still could not avoid a small scandal. Consumers began to notice that the taste Laimon Fresh bank and PET bottles of different, and suspected the manufacturer to use konservanComrade. To rehabilitate the brand, the summer of 2012 "Marketing Lounge" announced a competition (with the main prize of 500,000 rubles) for a video proving that Laimon Fresh is better than any chemical gazirovok. Members sent more than 200 applications - video spread in social networks and became a viral advertising brand. The tenacity with which is kept secret origin Laimon Fresh, easy to explain - the Swiss legend proved to be very profitable.

Estimates of Forbes, based on Euromonitor data and SPARK, Laimon Fresh revenues in 2012 amounted to 700 million rubles, and in 2013 could grow to 850 million rubles. And that's not counting other marks appearing on behalf GreenMe, - greenice iced tea, carbonated tea and juice drinks Teazz Red Grass.

Already in the year before Laimon Fresh Distributed in Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In the spring of 2013 he appeared in the retail networks of England and Spain. Stocks with the free distribution of the drink went to the streets of London and several UK universities. Tasting of alcoholic drinks with Laimon Fresh carried out at parties, festivals and in bars. In the UK Page Laimon Fresh on Facebook signed for more than halfzovateley than the Russian. Now the owners GreenMe can rightly say that Laimon Fresh - an international brand.