First-ever Silpo – Sri Lanka opens in Kiev

Silpo – Sri Lanka is the world’s first Sri Lanka-featured mall and provides unrivalled Ceylon tea shopping facilities and the Sri Lankan experience to its customers. Fozzy Group is one of the largest trade industrial groups in Ukraine and one of the leading Ukrainian retailers, with over 500 outlets all around the country; it established Slipo in 1998. The group sells food and household products via its Silpo supermarkets chain and Le Silpo. 

The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) delegation met Silpo Food LLC during the official visit to Ukraine last year and the outcome of those discussions was the Silpo supermarket chain of Fozzy Group proposing this novel concept to promote Ceylon Tea by setting up a Sri Lankan-featured shopping outlet in greater Kiev under the Silpo supermarket chain. 

Furthermore, the SLTB established a separate zone for Ceylon Tea at the Silpo – Sri Lanka mall, and it is offering tea tasting, details on the diversification of Ceylon Tea, details on the lion logo, Ceylon tea face masks, etc. The Silpo – Sri Lanka mall offers customers a wide variety of Ceylon Tea signature brands packaged in Sri Lanka with the lion logo such as JAF Tea, Basilur, Dilmah, Akbar, English Tea Shop, and Hayleys. 

In addition, the Slipo – Sri Lanka mall opens up opportunities for the SLTB, which is planning to conduct promotional and branding activities for Ceylon Tea at the Sri Lankan-featured mall and some outlets of the Silpo supermarket chain. Some of these activities are degustation sessions on a weekly basis, engaging in category branding and placement for Ceylon Tea brands, placing shelf-talkers with the lion logo, conducting educational programmes about Ceylon Tea, conducting tea ceremonies, and holding Ceylon Tea competitions that award winners visits to Ceylon Tea lands in Sri Lanka. The SLTB is co-ordinating with Silpo Food LLC Import Manager Olesia Oliinyk in Kiev for all operational activities.

SLTB Director – Promotion Pavithri Peiris said: “Degustation sessions and educational programmes will be started in 2021 due to the pandemic situation in Ukraine.” She also said that the SLTB was planning to roll out the Ceylon Tea promotional campaign in Ukraine by early next year and the promotions would be conducted in three ways – targeting key opinion leaders (KOLs), public relations (PR), and search engine optimisation (SEO).  

Ukraine is a traditional tea-consuming nation and the fourth largest tea importing country in Russia/the CIS region after the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.  Sri Lanka has taken the leading position in the Ukrainian tea market with a share of around 22% in volume terms followed by other major suppliers such as India, China, Kenya, and Vietnam. As per Sri Lanka Customs data, around 70% of the volume of Ceylon Tea was exported to Ukraine in bulk form and 30% in packets and tea bags.