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28th International Food Exhibition
24–27 September 2019 • Crocus Expo, Moscow, Russia

Russia food & drink market update: April

2018 continues to be an interesting year for the Russian food and drink market. Join us as we review some of the latest trends and stories coming from the country right here.
Russia food & drink market update: April

Russia food & drink news roundup

Most cheese in Russia is fake
Non-profit organisation Roskontrol had some nasty news for Russia’s dairy eaters after its latest round of testing revealed fake cheese is more common in Russia than first thought.
Roskontrol tried 30 brands of loose and packaged cheeses made in Russia and Belraus during testing at the tail end of 2017.
Its samples were taken from leading retail chains, including giants Lenta and Magnit. Of the 30 samples, 18 were found to be made using vegetable oils and non-dairy fats instead of milk.
To be considered actual, real cheese, products on sale in Russia must have at least 50% dairy milk. Otherwise, such products do not conform to Russia’s GOST standards and must be marked as only “cheese products”.
However, many manufacturers and retailers are failing to do so.
According to Roskontrol, the lack of truth in Russian labelling is a real problem, and calls into question foodstuffs’ point of origin and safety.
Cherry tomatoes with 2018 FIFA World Cup logos held by customs
A batch of cherry tomatoes was stopped for investigation by customs in Surgut after officers found FIFA World Cup 2018 symbols on the packaging.
Russia is the host nation for the world’s most famous football competition, and is taking the unofficial use of FIFA imagery very seriously.
Customs officers discovered the potentially copyright-infringing tomatoes after doing routine checks for products currently under sanction in Russia in March. 
It should be pointed out that Egyptian fruits and vegetables are NOT under embargo in Russia – but packaging unofficially using World Cup imagery is essentially illegal. So, as a word of advice to potential exporters, make sure you have FIFA’s permission before exporting goods to the World Cup’s host nation – otherwise such exports could be impounded.
Authorities are planning on how to proceed with prosecution at present. 
The FIFA World Cup is being held in 11 Russian cities between June-July this year. The first match kicks off on June 14 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Traffic light food labelling system: stuck at red or green to go?
Rospotrebnadzor (RPN), the Russian body responsible for consumer protection, has proposed a new “traffic light” food labelling system to be used nationwide.
Foods would be labelled in accordance with the quality of the food and the ingredients used. Mostly, the proposed system will be used to separate those products that contain high levels of unhealthy fats, sugars, and salt with those that don’t. The system will look like this:
Green label – contains low amounts of harmful fats, sugars, and/or salt
Yellow label – Contains some high levels of harm fats, sugars, and/or salt
Red label – Contains high levels of harmful fats, sugars, and/or salt
According to Anna Popova, head of RPN, 80% of Russians want to see such labels on food and drink packaging – something which Ms Popova found “pleasantly surprising”.
There has been no word on whether this system, which is similar to many label schemes currently in use across Europe, will be fully implemented throughout Russia, but Ms Popova is confident it will be rolled out soon.
Putin’s favourite ice cream gains market share
President Putin’s influence across Russia is easy to see – but even in ice cream? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Putin’s preferred brand has sailed into a market-leading position after the Russian leader was spotted enjoying one of its products at the MAKS Air Show last summer.
Krasnodar-based Renna, and its Korovka Korenovka brand, recorded record sales across last year, possibly thanks to the Putin Effect. After a photo emerged of Putin enjoying his cold treat, Renna’s market share grew from 2.9% to 8.9% - the third largest individual share on the Russian ice cream sector.
Indeed, during a visit to the Krasnodar-region, where Renna’s production sites are found, the Russian premier sampled some more Korovka Korenovka ice cream, dubbing it the “most delicious”.
From this, it seems, a recommendation right from the top tiers of Russian government are what you need to triple your market share – so consider sending some samples to the Kremlin if you want your products to succeed in Russia.