Valio Baltic is one of Valio Group’s five foreign subsidiaries, and produces and sells high quality, much loved milk products in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They are mainly produced in Estonia from local milk employing Valio’s unique know-how and conforming to the company’s headline value “We make the best”.
Alma is one of the best known brands
“Consumers in the Baltic market love locally produced dairy products. They value good taste, freshness, high quality and a good price. Valio has what it takes to succeed in this market. Our products are well known and trusted, giving consumers the excellent product quality they want,” says Krista Kalbin, Marketing and Product Development Director at Valio Baltic.
Valio products are sold under two main brands in the Baltics. Valio is the corporate brand and the umbrella brand for cheeses, and the fresh dairy products brand Alma is one of the leading and most recognised dairy brands in Estonia. The best known Valio cheeses in the Baltic countries are Valio Atleet and Valio Forte which was chosen Best Dairy Product in Estonia 2013.
The majority of Valio products sold in the Baltic markets are produced in Estonia. Valio also imports some products from Finland to the Baltics. The most popular import brands are lactose free Valio Eila® and cheese brands Valio Oltermanni®, Valio Polar® and Valio Aura®. Valio Baltic exports its products to Russia, Italy, the USA and Finland.
“Valio Baltic´s biggest product group by turnover is cheeses, followed by drinking milks. These classic groups are deeply embedded in local traditions and consumption habits. Yoghurts and curds are more modern and dynamic product groups where novelties are constantly developed,” explains Krista Kalbin.
“Our goal is to be the leading dairy company in Estonia, and to develop and sell products made from pure Estonian raw milk that offer the best taste sensations and are consistently high in quality.”
Valio’s Baltic history encompasses the establishment in 1992 of Valio Eesti AS as a sales and marketing office. Today, Valio Baltic is represented in all three Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Production is concentrated in Estonia, where Valio has two plants. The Laeva dairy in central Estonia near Tartu makes fresh products, such as milk, yoghurts, curds, creams, kefirs and cottage cheese, while the Võru plant in southern Estonia produces cheese. Valio’s sales units are located in Riga, Latvia and Kaunas, Lithuania.
Valio Baltic has grown over the years and become an important part of the local dairy market. Valio is now the biggest raw milk buyer in Estonia. Milk is collected from farms in central and southern Estonia located within a maximum of 100 kilometres from the plants.
“Our goal is to be the leading dairy company in Estonia, and to develop and sell products made from pure Estonian raw milk that offer the best taste sensations and are consistently high in quality,” says Maido Solovjov, Valio Baltic’s Managing Director.
Investment and building trust
The Baltic market is small, price sensitive and very competitive, especially in Estonia where six bigger and several smaller local dairies along with imported milk products compete for 1.3 million consumers.
Valio Baltic has one third of the Estonian fresh dairy product market and nearly 30% of the cheese market. Our strong position has been achieved and is maintained by continuous development including investments in plants, people and brands, all helping to gain the acceptance and trust of local consumers.
Valio Baltic in figures (2013)
• Net sales 93 million euros
• Personnel 360
• Local production 60,000 tons of fresh dairy products
• Local production 7,500 tons of cheese