Demand for chocolate confectionery in Russia robust

Sales of chocolate confectionery have been strong in Russia, with the rise of imports and recovering economy driving growth.

The Euromonitor Digest released by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau said the supply of chocolate confectionery is benefiting from many imported brands returning to Russia and the increase in local production.

There was a drop in the supply of imported brands in 2015 and 2016, which prompted a rise in domestic production, following the introduction of European Union and the United States sanctions.

“While domestic brands typically cater to the mass market, imported brands also cater to demand for premium chocolate confectionery,” it said.

The report said retail volume growth was, however, slower in 2019 compared to the previous year, which was partly due to an increase in value-added tax (VAT) and the resulting price rises.

It noted consumers are expected to focus on quality over quantity, which should benefit value sales but could act as a drag on volume sales.

Tablets was the second-largest category in chocolate confectionery in current value terms in 2019 and is projected to become the largest category over the next few years, overtaking chocolate pouches and bags.

While being smaller categories, seasonal chocolate and boxed assortments both saw strong growth in current value terms in 2019. These products are often given as gifts, or are consumed for special occasions.

“As a result, they have benefited from Russia’s improving economy with consumers showing a greater willingness to spend out on gifting. Seasonal chocolate saw particularly strong growth in 2019, albeit from a relatively low base,” the Euromonitor Digest further said.

The report added this category is benefiting from new product development with local and international brands focused on pushing seasonal sales with attractive packaging.

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