MOSCOW, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Starved of Big Macs since McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) closed its Russian restaurants in March, Russians will from next year be treated to an alternative from the burger chain's successor - the "Big Hit".
Russian fast food chain Vkusno & tochka, or "Tasty & that's it", on Monday said the Big Hit, complete with a new signature sauce, will be available from February and a similar product to the McDonald’s Happy Meal will be making a comeback as "Kids' Combo".
McDonald's closed its Russian restaurants soon after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February, eventually selling to a local licensee, Alexander Govor, who unveiled the new brand in June.
Vkusno & tochka CEO Oleg Paroev said the company has overcome supply chain issues and was growing its share in a market traditionally dominated by foreign chains.
There are restrictions on the colours and products that Vkusno & tochka can use. It can no longer serve Big Macs, nor use the McDonald's-style sauce, Paroev explained.
"(The Big Hit) has its own sauce and a slightly different composition, a different layout of ingredients, but in terms of quality and taste it is very good," Paroev said.
"We hope Russian consumers will appreciate the Big Hit and that it will become as much of a symbol of Vkusno & tochka as the Big Mac is a symbol of McDonald's.
Since acquiring Russia's McDonald's restaurants, Govor has snapped up Finnish packaging company Huhtamaki's (HUH1V.HE) Russian business and a logistics firm, set to be renamed "Logistics & that's it".
On Monday, he said Vkusno & tochka may try to find a partner to produce children's toys for the Kids' Combo, which currently include a free book, but that his M&A appetite had been satisfied for now.
Vkusno & tochka and meat producer Miratorg on Monday said they had agreed to build a factory in 2023 to supply the chain with chips and potato wedges. Some Vkusno & tochka restaurants had to take fries off the menu this year when faced with a potato shortage.
"We were simply forced to do this," Govor said. "We were looking for partners because some of our suppliers, including of potatoes, have doubled their prices from February to today."