Moscow – 2 April – St Petersburg’s meat market is seeing the return of great Soviet-era quality as Samson – Food Products relaunches its famed Samson sausage brand, which was first introduced in the USSR’s Leningrad.
In December 2018, Cherkizovo Group acquired a 75% stake in Samson – Food Products, which was then able to leverage Cherkizovo’s expertise and capacities in bringing back its legendary sausage brand. Cherkizovo's CEO Sergey Mikhailov said at the time that the acquisition was very well-aligned with the Group's development strategy as it was set to expand its branded portfolio of higher value-added products. With Samson historically being a very strong brand, the company’s management had been considering to reintroduce the sausage from the very start.
The brand’s assortment will feature both Soviet and modern European recipes, including the "Finnish" smoked sausage, spicy Italian salami, salchichon, fuet and chorizo. These products will fall under the medium+ and premium price categories. To test the Samson recipes and standards, one of Cherkizovo Group’s plants in Moscow will house the sausage production facilities, which will then be moved to Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region.
Samson, the cult Soviet brand, has existed for over 50 years. Sausages and other meat products under this label were at one time manufactured by the S.M. Kirov Meat Processing Plant, established in 1933 and later renamed the Samson Meat Processing Plant. In early 2000s, production was halted, and only after eight years the brand was relaunched at a new state-of-the-art plant in Vsevolozhsk, landing this time in the fresh category (fresh minced meat and ready-to-cook products).
Dmitry Gordeev, CEO of the Vsevolozhsky Meat Processing Plant, says that the key priority is to re-establish the high quality standards. “Samson was a household name in the USSR, especially loved in Leningrad (modern-day St Petersburg). We have spared no effort making sure that our sausage assortment lives up to the admirable standards of the past. These are truly premium-quality products from the healthiest chilled meats,” he commented.
Soon after perestroika began, many sausage producers attempted to revive the cherished industry traditions in St Petersburg, among them the Kronstadt Meat Processing Plant, Leningrad Meat Processing Plant No. 3 (later Parnas-M), Strelets Meat Processing Plant, and Pit-Product. Yet, none of them managed to emerge the leader in the city's market. Today, shelves in retail stores across St Petersburg are chock-full of products from other regions, some of them quite remote. However, as people at Samson point out, consumers still expect to find quality meat products manufactured locally.