Baltic biscuit wars
maker Kalev Johvi Tootmine is to stop making its Maiasmokk brand of
biscuits because of excess market competition.
Estonian-based Kalev Johvi Tootmine, was known as Jarle, until it was acquired by competing confectionery manufactuer Kalev last year. According to a report in the daily Eesti Paevaleht, the brand was competing with other biscuit brands already produced by Kalev's other operation, a situation that was deemed to be a disadvantage to the group's sales.
According to a spokesman for Priit Kotkas, a company which was a leading shareholder in the original Jarle business and now holds a 23 per cent stake in the Kalev confectionery business, the original intention when the Kalev group brought the Maiasmokk brand from Jarle was to put a stop to the brand, as it was encroaching on sales of the group's other brands of biscuits.
Kalev has so far refused to comment on its decision to stop making the brand. The firm's marketing manager Alar Pink, said that as a listed company it was bound by the specified code of good practices and considered it inappropriate to comment given that there are ongoing court proceedings with regards the brand.
Kalev's conflict with Priit Kotkas goes back a number of years and has already culminated in seven lawsuits.
Currently the Kalev brand is one of the most widely recognized in Estonia and the Baltic States. The manufacturer produces around 250 products, the best known being its chocolate and caramel lines. In 2003 the group had a 54.5 per cent share of the confectionery market in Estonia and net sales amounting to €22.2 million. Export markets, other than the Baltic States, include Scandinavia, Russia and the US.