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Supermarket Shelves in St. Petersburg Empty of Imported Goods

Published: August 15, 2014 (Issue # 1824)

  • Imported foods are being replaced by domestically-produced product as stocks run out.
    Photo: Net_Efekt / Flickr

A week after Russian authorities banned the import of certain types of products from the United States, EU, Canada, Australia and Norway, St. Petersburg supermarkets that stock a large share of imported goods are showing the impact the ban is having. Imported fish, meat and dairy products have all but disappeared, reports, with many of the products remaining on the shelves the last of the current stock. As the foreign goods run out, many stores have begun to expand the proportion of domestically-produced products.

Udderly Gone

Many supermarkets in St. Petersburg no longer have any dairy products remaining on their shelves from the Finnish company Valio, whose cheese and butter have been available in St. Petersburg shops since the Soviet era. At the Prisma supermarket on the Vyborg Schosse, local residents have been scrambling to buy as much as they can before it disappears completely.

"The excitement began last Thursday, said a worker in the diary department at Prisma. Valio products are the most sought but people are even buying things they wouldnt have given a second glance before. Finnish cheese will soon be gone. Everything that we have is on the shelves with a bit left in the stockroom."

Valio products manufactured at the companys facilities in Finland and Estonia will no longer be seen in supermarket cold cases, with the products made at companys Gatchina and Ershovo locations hard pressed to fill the void.

"Naturally, the two plants are not enough and we will have to make up for the shortfall somehow, said the unidentified Prisma employee.

Empty shelves were seen where, until recently, Norwegian Jarlsberg, Latvian Karums dairy desserts and Tere Estonian sour cream once stood.

At the Metro Cash and Carry on Kosygin Prospekt, which mainly serves small-scale wholesale buyers, empty shelves remained where a week earlier Baltais sour cream from Latvia and puddings from the Swiss company Nestle, which has 11 Russia factories, could be found. Metro was also out of Italian Parmesan, Lithuanian Roxburgh, French Roquefort and Austrian blue cheeses. There was no Valio yogurt left among the few pots of Landlibe and Baltais product.

Shoppers have been snapping up Alterman cheese and Valios processed cheese, Viola. Cheese sold under the Finnish store-brand Pirkko has disappeared as well.

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Thursday, Oct. 30

Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.

Friday, Oct. 31

Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.

Saturday, Nov. 1

The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.

Sunday, Nov. 2

Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.

Monday, Nov. 3

Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.

Tuesday, Nov. 4

Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.

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