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Russia’s “national ice cream” kicks off sweet frenzy in China

(People's Daily Online)    14:52, September 22, 2017

One year after Russian President Vladimir Putin gifted his Chinese counterpart a pack of Russian ice cream during the G20 summit, the cooling dessert has taken over the Chinese market, offering sugar lovers an authentic and creamy Russian treat.

“Our company may buy an ice cream factory in Siberia, in an effort to reduce the cost of exporting the ice cream to China. We may even [directly] produce ice cream in China,” Denis Kazmin, deputy director of Russian company IceBerry, told Rambler News Service.

Being one of Russia’s time-honored brands, IceBerry has been producing desserts for the Kremlin for decades. The company dubbed its chilly sweet treat as a “national gift” after Putin’s visit in 2016, and has been selling them in Qing-Feng Steamed Buns Shop, a renowned food chain in Beijing, ever since.

Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoys an ice cream. /Photo via CGTN

According to Denis Kazmin, the company aims to sell 200 to 250 tons of ice cream to China in 2017 and 500 tons the year after that.

IceBerry is not the only Russian company that wants to take over the Chinese market. According to China’s Manzhouli Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau’s statistics, the popularity of Russian ice cream is on the rise in China with more than 270 tons valued at $863,000 imported in the first eight months in 2017, which is a 267 percent increase from 2016.

Customers line up to buy Russian ice cream in Beijing. /Photo via Beijing Daily

According to Russian news site Sputnik, the traditional manufacturing standard for Russian ice cream, which was introduced in 1941, was considered some of the strictest in the world and are responsible for the unique taste of Soviet ice cream. Such a high standard is welcomed by Chinese customers, who prioritize food safety.

The affordable price, partly due to the depreciation of the Russian ruble, has also helped Chinese develop a taste for Russian ice cream. According to Beijing Daily, IceBerry’s ice cream costs about 6 to 30 yuan, and each store sells an average of 300 ice creams a day.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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