As warm-up: how Kazan cooks capture the kitchens of major retailers
Federal food store chains offer Kazan residents ready-made food from local suppliers
As it became known to Realnoe Vremya, Katyk from Kazan and Itle Kitchen from Zelenodolsk have entered federal retail chains, becoming suppliers of frozen semi-finished food. The new format of public catering has already been tested by the retail chain Magnit, and now X5 Group is negotiating supplies. “If previously ready-made food was bought in supermarkets, now — in neighbourhood stores. This business has good growth prospects, as in cities with millions of people less and less want to cook themselves," explain the popularity of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products in the Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Kazan.
Instant lunch from local suppliers
The first points for the sale of pastries and ready meals in Kazan stores in neighbourhood have been launched byMagnit network, and following it, X5 Group is preparing to open them. This information was confirmed to Realnoe Vremya by the press services of both federal retailers. However, companies are not going to open their own kitchen with hot and cold workshops. Here they rely on shock-frozen semi-finished products that are easy to bake in the oven and put on the counter at any time. Moreover, the first suppliers were Katyk from Kazan and Itle Kitchen from Zelenodolsk, having started supplying several dozen types of products.
A kind of flagship point of the new format of ready-made food was the Magnit supermarket in GUM. Here appeared the departments “Pastry” and “Prepared food”, where the products of local suppliers are offered. Katyk supplies frozen products and dishes to 40 stores of the chain, the managing director of the company, Yulia Shigapova, told Realnoe Vremya. According to her, a long-term contract has been signed with the federal retailer, which provides for the supply of products in shock freezing.
“We do not rent a point, but supply finished products there," she said. “Then it is brought to readiness in the store itself, that is, they do not bake themselves, but they buy it from us, they only warm up the food.”
The Tatarstan manufacturer ships 10 types of frozen pastries (ochpochmaks, belyashi, samsa and others) and 20 types of ready meals (salads and second courses — meatballs, goulash, beef stroganoff, cutlets, manti). Due to cooperation with the large network, the turnover has increased 1,5 times — up to 16 tonnes a day, says Shigapova. In the future, according to her, the menu will be supplemented, as in restaurants and cafes.
The press service of Magnit clarified that the Kazan company supplies frozen pastries to 22 Kazan stores of the “nearby” format: “The partner produces products on its own sites. Then it is cooked directly in retail outlets. Besides, the partner supplies ready meals and salads by weight to one store “nearby plus”.
“In the process of negotiations”
According to the culinary specialist of Kazan, negotiations are now underway with another major federal retailer. Why did the choice fall on these Tatarstan producers of ready-made food? The federal chains themselves turned to them with the proposal to supply products: “It was their initiative, just like of Pyaterochka store. They came to us because we have been on the semi-finished products market for more than 20 years," says Yulia Shigapova. The press service of Magnit clarified: “The company was selected on the basis of tender purchases based on the ratio of price and quality of products.” Itle Kitchen, a company in Zelenodolsk, has not yet responded to the request of Realnoe Vremya.
The Kazan producer of Tatar culinary company Katyk belongs to the family of the deputy of the Kazgorduma, ex-deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan, well-known carrier in the city, Ruslan Yusupov. By the results of 2022, the company's revenue amounted to 162,2 million rubles, net profit — 7,8 million rubles, follows from the data of SPARK-Interfax database. Yusupov also develops the restaurant of European cuisine Carbon. Giovanni Bayamonte, the concept-chef of Ayrat Garipov's chain, helped to implement the project, Timur Mirzaev became the chef.
Zelenodolsk factory-kitchen of ready meals, Itle Kitchen, is based in the industrial park of Zelenodolsk. It was founded by entrepreneur Ruslan Khayrutdinov in partnership with a businessman from Tyumen. By the end of 2022, the company received revenue of 164,9 million rubles and went into negative territory. We should add that the ready-to-eat segment was also joined by Saelra company of the subsidiary of Muslima Latypova, the founder of the home-made food chain Bakhetle. Her company is building a building for the production of semi-finished products with a total area of more than 5 thousand square metres. The total cost of the investment project is more than 520 million rubles.
At the same time, the Kazan manufacturer is negotiating the supply of semi-finished products to another large network. “We are still in the process of negotiations with them, the course of which we do not comment on," the press service of X5 Group confirmed to our publication. The retailer is going to open culinary departments not in all stores of the city, but mainly in those where the concept has been updated.
Cheap means nameless?
The retailer and the Kazan supplier agreed to adhere to affordable prices in order to reach as many customers as possible: “We do not raise prices, we are aimed at the mass segment of people with average incomes," Yulia Shigapova said.
Currently, all products of Tatarstan suppliers of semi-finished products are sold without a brand, but at the same time they are marked with the index “Local manufacturer”, the press service of the network reported. However, the Kazan manufacturer wants to brand its own products. For this purpose, the new brand Katyk Food was registered.
“We are registering the new trademark," Shigapova confirmed. “If we used to have one brand, now the word 'food' has been added to it. This is due to that we produce not only pastries, but also ready-made food. The registration is connected with that we are expanding the boundaries and entering the market with ready-made food. We position ourselves as a home-made food shop.
Besides, the company is going to master the production of desserts and produce them under another new brand — Yusupov Est.
The federal retailer opened the first culinary departments in Russian stores on the eve of the New Year holidays two years ago. Krasnodar and Murmansk became pilot cities. But then the company additionally purchased equipment to create packaging, and produced the products itself. Later, the network allocated the new direction in a separate brand. Ruslan Ismailov, the deputy CEO of the company, explained this by that the popularity of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products has become one of the main global trends.
“There is no time to cook soup”
“People are less willing to cook themselves, they want to do everything faster and easier," Mikhail Sharipov, the chairman of the board of the Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers, agrees with this opinion. According to him, it is not easy to become a supplier of frozen products, as it is necessary to prepare production and obtain certificates. “It's one thing when baked goods were prepared in a restaurant: they were ordered and immediately cooked. Another thing is to put semi-finished products on stream. This is a lot of work, other technologies for preparing frozen semi-finished products (vacuuming), certain production requirements," he said. The store must have an oven for cooking semi-finished products.
“All these are myths that someone can forget to put a semi-finished product in the freezer, it will melt and spoil. This is not a spaceship that flies into space," he jokes. “The risks are common, like for all cafes.”
The average lunch receipt depends on the area: “There may be one price in the city centre, and another in remote areas. The range is from 200 rubles in the Aviastroitelny district to 500 rubles in the Vakhitovsky district. But I wouldn't divide it into districts. It is not critical for people who work in highly paid positions to spend 500-700 rubles for lunch from a store. But those who work in low-paid positions will be able to spend from 150 to 300 rubles for lunch," he believes. In general, restaurateurs do not see serious competitors in the new formats of catering in supermarkets, believing that daily purchases of fast food do not interfere with gastronomic pleasure.