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

Confectionery in Russia: a sweet treat growing sweeter

Who doesn’t like confectionery? From East to West, sweets, chocolates, and candies dance across the palates of millions of happy consumers – and Russia is no stranger to the sweeter things in life.
Confectionery in Russia: a sweet treat growing sweeter
Confectionery is a key sector in Russia’s food and drink makeup – and one wide open to imports. Importantly, after a couple of years of stagnation and reduction, confectionery imports are growing again.
Russians favour a wide variety of candies, meaning the market is not tied to any one product. Consumption of confectionery across all sub-groups hit 24 kg/person in 2017. This was an increase of 6.1% against 2016’s levels.
With consumption rising, and imports expanding to match, Russia is looking more attractive for international manufacturers of sweets. 

Russian confectionery imports rise in 2017

2016 saw imports of confectionery items shrink by roughly 30% - a market-wide trend kicked off by Russia’s declining economy in 2014. However, this is now reversing. 2017 brought growth back to the candy import sector.
Throughout the first half of 2017, imports grew 25% up to 100,000 tons, according to the Centre for Confectionery Market Research (CICR). 
“Correction of the rouble exchange rate, and a re-establishment of demand for confectionery in general, has led to this growth in imported goods,” said CICR’s Executive Director Elizaveta Nikitina.
Chocolate products saw the largest increase. During the review period, imports reached 27,500 tons – a rise of almost 37%. In monetary terms, these shipments were valued at around $135.4m. Flour-based sweets, such as biscuits, waffles, and other pastries, witnessed 20.1% growth – totalling 54,000 tons, and costing Russian buyers $132.1m.
This growth is highlighted by the number of confectionery specialists at WorldFood Moscow. In 2017, there were over one hundred chocolate and chocolate product manufacturers at the show alone. That is not counting the sugar and flour-based producers either, which raises the total of confectionery producers exhibiting to well in the hundreds.
This provides key buyers from retailers like X5, Magnit, and Lenta, plus wholesalers and importers, with an enormous range of options to choose from.

Russian confectionery supply structure unaffected by food ban

Russia’s food embargo affects many key sectors, such as fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy, and fish and seafood. Confectionery is not one of these sectors.
Producers in the EU, such as Belgium’s Bruyerre, and German giants Alfred Ritter, are welcome in the Russian market. According to CICR research, Western European producers dominate the import segment, covering:
• 65% of chocolate and chocolate products
• 55% of flour confectioneries (waffles, biscuits, cakes etc.)
• 25% of sugar candies
Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russia’s fellow CIS members, are the chief suppliers of foreign-sourced sugary sweets. Combined, the pair hold a 40% share of the import market. Turkey, too, is a top 10 supplier, with a 3% market share.

Moscow & St. Petersburg buy the bulk of Russia’s imported candy

Russia’s top buyers of imported goods can be found in three key areas: Moscow, the greater Moscow region, and St. Petersburg. Together, these provinces purchase 50% of all such confectionery.
Here, consumers have deeper pockets are higher spending power than elsewhere in Russia. According to CICR, imported sweets and confectioneries are priced higher than their Russian counterparts.
However, the worst of Russia’s economic woes are in the past. Across the country, spending power is rising – meaning it has more money to spend on higher-end items.
WorldFood Moscow, held in Expocentre, Moscow, puts exhibitors directly at the heart of this spending.

Russian consumers trend towards more luxury sweets

Reflecting this is the current trend of Russian consumers choosing to go for more luxury items over basic offerings once again. This is similar to trends seen prior to Russia’s recent recession.
Looking at a specific sector, we can see this most clearly in chocolate buying habits. A product offering more than just the basic chocolate taste is more popular than a simple chocolate bar. Buyers are moving from plain dark chocolate to more cocoa-rich options, those which are using special cocoa varieties, or handmade products, for instance.
Domestic confectioners are also dabbling with more intriguing tastes. In chocolate, we can find the basic flavour being infused with apple and pear, cumin and turmeric, tropical fruits, and even black pepper. Chocolate is increasingly being seen as more than just a dessert or treat in Russia – it’s actually a highly fashionable item, backed up by the aforementioned exotic flavourings.
The takeaway here is to embrace Russian market. Its tastes are veering more towards the high-end. As imported goods tend to be a little more expensive, this should only heighten their desirability amongst Russian consumers.

Find Russian confectionery buyers at WorldFood Moscow

International confectionery is re-emerging as a force to be reckoned with in Russia. Don’t miss out on your chance to enter this lucrative market. Join us at WorldFood Moscow this year to find the biggest Russian buyers.
WorldFood Moscow is Russia’s leading food and drink exhibition. Each year, it connects over 1,500 foreign firms with 29,000 Russian buyers, such as retailers and wholesalers, while they are actively searching for new products and suppliers.
If you want to take part, you can reserve your stand here.
Want extra information? Contact a member of our team today.