Good News from Mon, 30 July, 2012:

Viola – a big cheese in Russia

Valio Viola is the market leader in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Valio Viola is the market leader in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Few Finns know that Valio’s Viola processed cheese was the first foreign cheese on the Soviet markets. Viola made its debut on the shelves of Soviet shops in 1956, just three years after Josif Stalin’s death. During the subsequent 56 years Viola has made its way into the hearts – and stomachs – of Russians.

Influential business leaders who took part in a survey carried out by Finnpro a decade ago referred to Viola as the best-known Finnish brand, the product being mentioned by just under a quarter of all respondents. In the same survey only a fifth of the respondents were able to name Nokia when asked about Finnish brands. Viola is still one of the best-known products.

In Finland Viola cheese spread came on the markets already in 1934, to complement Valio Koskenlaskija. The Viola girl was Viola’s logo for decades. It was not until 2006 that Valio decided to renew its Viola brand in Finland and the Viola girl was replaced with a house, Villa Viola, in advertising and with a flower design on the packaging. At the same time the Viola processed cheeses were removed from the Finnish markets and Valio’s cream cheeses (formerly Valio Hovi) were brought under the brand name.

In Russia the Viola girl is still part of the brand, and the product range includes both processed and cream cheeses. Valio Viola remains the market leader in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Valio predicts that its lactose-free products which are presently being exported to Russia, Sweden and the Benelux countries, among others, will be future classics.

Valio decided to renew its Viola brand in Finland in 2006 and the Viola girl was replaced with a house, Villa Viola, in advertising and with a flower design on the packaging. (Photo: Valio)

www.valio.fi

HA