Poultry producer expands production, Russian style
Stemming from an idea several years in the making, an American company will produce and market Russian-style chicken products for sale in the US.
First Fresh Foods, operating within Prime Pak Foods is beginning production of the processed chicken products initially for marketing and sales in the northeastern United States. The company hopes to expand the product for sale soon throughout the eastern US. The first sales are to be expected in October.
The company is beginning with six products, ranging from sausage to cutlets. The idea for these new product offerings began as an extension of what is being produced in Russia by the joint US-Russian broiler company venture Elinar.
“We would attend the Elinar board meetings (in Russia) and we would often have a cookout and they would feature the Elinar products,” said James Sumner, president of the Stone Mountain-based USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. “I would say, ‘it’s too bad that there is no product quite like this back in the US,’ and this thought was in our minds for several years.” Sumner added importing the product from Russia would not be ideal. “We thought, ‘What about manufacturing it in the US using US product with the Russian formula?’ And the idea took off from there,” he said.
At a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony at the First Fresh facility, Vladimir Gorbechev, deputy director of Elinar Holding, said, “This is an important occurrence for the industry. We are going to be producing this product here using the same principles we use in Russia, and we hope it is as great a success as it has been in the Russian market.”
Initially the product will be marketed toward areas of the country with large Russian and Eastern European populations. The hope is to expand beyond the niche markets and into all markets, company officials noted.
“We hope that the product will be enjoyed not just by Russian citizens living in America, but that it will be enjoyed by all Americans,” Sumner said.
“Further processed products comprise more than half of the poultry purchased in the US, and this will certainly provide another interesting and exciting option for the consumer,” said Mike Giles, president of the Gainesville-based Georgia Poultry Federation. “It’s also wonderful that this great new product is going to be produced here in Gainesville.”
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