Lubyatovo (Любятово) is a Russian cracker, biscuit, and cereal brand founded in Pskov (Псков), a city in Russia about 50 miles northeast of the Estonian and Latvian border in 2002.

Before Lubyatovo, cold breakfast cereal was not manufactured in Russia and was not widely popular. Most Russians still consider traditional hot breakfasts such as kasha (boiled rice, buckwheat, or oats in milk or water), to be far healthier, in part because most imported brands (mostly made by Nestle) are high in added sugar and preservatives.

Lubyatovo carved a niche for itself by introducing preservative-free cereals to the market that are only lightly sweetened, in part, with the same local honey that many Russians use in their kasha. Most of these cereals are also made with the same traditional local grains with which Russians make kasha.

One major exception to this are Lubyatovo’s cornflakes – cornmeal is not a widely-used foodstuff in Russia and never has been. However, the cornflakes are basic enough to also sell well on the Russian market.

Lubyatovo also makes crackers and cookies, many of which are reminiscent of Soviet products, and, again, tend to be all-natural and only lightly salted or sweetened. However, the brand is particularly unique because of its breakfast cereals.

In fact, when Kellogg’s sought to expand into Russia, they chose to simply purchase Lubyatovo. The deal was completed in 2008. Kellogg’s apparently considered the Lubyatovo’s business plan so effective that they have not changed the company’s products or marketing message. They have really only increased advertising.  Kellogg’s does not make any of its “western” brands available in Russia – the company relies entirely on Lubyatovo products for its presence there.

Today, Kellogg’s/Lubyatovo is Nestle’s biggest competitor in the breakfast cereal category with 15.5 percent market share in 2010. TNS Marketing Index also reports that Lubyatovo is preferred by 14.2 percent of Russians in the category of biscuits, cookies, and crackers, which is patroned by 65.5 percent of Russians.

 

A 2012 ad connecting cornflakes directly to the fields:

 

A delicious breakfast with Lubyatovo:

Katheryn Weaver is a student of rhetoric and history at the University of Texas, Austin. Her primary areas of investigation include revolution and the rhetorical justification of violence against individuals, state, and society. She is currently studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship.