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Paulig knock-off to appear on Russian market

Coffee served at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum bore a striking resemblance to the Finnish giant.

Poetti's logo and packaging bears suspicious resemblance to Paulig's own Presidentti coffee. Image: Tommi Pylkkö / Yle, lähteet: Fontanka ja Paulig

Guests at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum spotted coffee that looked suspiciously similar to Finnish coffee brand Paulig last week.

"Coffee in really familiar packaging, not to mention the brand," described St. Petersburg-based media outlet Fontanka.

Guests of the business conference were handed a leaflet advertisement of the new brand "Poetti", which stated that it offered "Paulig's long-term expertise" and "its own factory in Tver". Paulig's coffee roastery was located in Tver, before it was sold to a local private investor.

According to Russian financial paper Kommersant, the investor was Vikasu Soi, an Indian citizen living in Russia since the 1990s and since 2016, CEO of the Milagro Beverage Company.

The advertisement stated that Poetti will launch in the fall. According to Fontanka, in a presentation of the new product the brand explained "the name will change, but the taste and quality will remain".

Yle Novosti—Yle's Russian-language bureau—questioned Paulig what they thought of the new coffee brand and whether it was a trademark infringement that they would take action against.

"Paulig has not been aware of this. We are not going to speculate on [any trademark infringements] now," a communications representative from Paulig responded.

Paulig was unable to confirm whether the coffee was made in its former roastery.

As more Western firms pull out of the Russian market, local facsimiles have popped up in their place. Earlier this month, former McDonald's restaurants opened up as Vkusno & tochka—“Tasty and that’s it" (siirryt toiseen palveluun)—while familiar looking bottles on Russian shelves had new names like "Cool Cola", "Fancy", and "Street" (siirryt toiseen palveluun).