Miratorg eyes on-trade expansion with meat supplies to McDonald’s in China
“There is really work in this direction [to supply meat to Chinese divisions of McDonald’s] and it is possible that deliveries will take place,” said Linnik. “Prior to the sanctions we were planning to deliver meat to McDonald’s restaurants in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and we were already gauging the level of supplies.”
According to Linnik, the sanctions ruined these plans, but Miratorg is still cooperating with McDonald’s in the Russian market and the US fast food chain remains happy with the quality of the meat supplied, he said.
“We believe this [supplying the Chinese on-trade] could be a good sales channel,” Linnik stated, adding that this could help Miratorg reach its goal of achieving exports of 150,000-200,000 tonnes per year to the Chinese market in the next few years.
Interest in Middle East and Asia
Linnik added that expansion in the overseas HoReCa (on-trade) segment would not be limited to McDonald’s.
Meat exports would also be sent to Bahrain and, following certification, to a number of other countries in the region.
“We are working on certification for other countries,” added Linnik. “Iraq is under discussion, where it would be interesting to export poultry products. So far, there is only beef [approved for deliveries], so we need to consider this. Most interesting for us is Saudi Arabia. There is a very large population and huge purchasing power.”
Meanwhile, Linnik indicated that Miratorg’s export interest was not just confined to the Middle East, as his company was also targeting Asian markets, such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Marbled beef and semi-finished meat
Since the beginning of 2016, Miratorg has also begun a plan to launch supplies of marbled beef steaks to McDonald’s outlets in Russia. According to Miratorg vice-president Alexander Nikitin, marbled beef steaks are 20-30% more expensive than other steaks. Over recent years Miratorg has expanded its business with several dozen steakhouses, pizza chains and restaurants across Russia.
“At first, Russian customers reacted negatively to beef steaks sourced in Russia,” said Andrei Zaitsev, head of restaurant company RPCOM. “However, the products were of no less quality than imported steaks and the sales since confirm that, ultimately, they have been welcomed by the customers.”
Miratorg is also developing production of semi-finished meat products for the HoReCa sector. According to Vladimir Bulychev, manager of HoReCa sales at Miratorg, in times of crisis frozen foods are an important asset for restaurants that need to optimise costs and production processes, as they are convenient for storage and transportation. However, not all restaurants are ready to shift to frozen semi-finished products.