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Russia’s baked goods sector: still strong

In Russia, baked goods—breads in particular—have been a staple at the table since time immemorial. And so they remain. 5 million tons of bakery products were sold in 2016, making it the largest category of packaged food in Russia.

Russian baked goods market keeps on growing 

Russia is a massive country with an appetite to match. It is the biggest bakery market in Northeastern Europe, accounting for 38% of value sales. Across the board, bakery sales are set to see flat sales growth of 2% annually until 2019. Of the products driving this growth, some old favourites remain the best market performers.

Breads and rolls are among the best selling products in the bakery and cereals market in Russia, accounting for 50% of the market, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% in value terms during the 2015-2020 period. 

Cakes and pastries make for the second largest segment with 11% of the market, and is forecast to register the fastest growth in terms of value and volume during the same period.

For exporters, bakery may be an ideal market entry point. Import values of baked goods in Russia reached a massive $240 million in 2015, 20% of which came from German producers.

Nationwide consumption of bakery products is expected to reach 6.5 million tons by 2020, showing how Russians are no strangers to the bakery section of their local supermarkets, and consumption per capita down to 46 kg, by 2020. 

Russian tastes are beginning to change, however, and as a result, the market for baked goods in Russia is currently going some interesting times. Diversification of products in general will be the main factor for growth in this sector as we approach the next decade. 

Below, we have compiled a list of most prominent trends that have caused ripples in the Russian baked goods market to help you navigate the market:


Non-traditional, premium breads on the rise

There is a growing preference non-traditional breads compared to traditional breads among the younger demographics. Popularity of unconventional varieties types of bread is growing steadily. Production of traditional bakery products increased only 1.3% in 2016, compared to the 7% increase for non-traditional breads – in particular those new products that experiment with innovative flavours and ingredients. 

However, older, more well established products are still very popular in Russia, particularly among older generations. Popular breads in Russia include rye breads such as Borodinsky, the brown sourdough rye bread sweetened with molasses and flavoured with salt and coriander seeds. 

In addition to the shift towards newer flavours and taste sensations, there is also growing interest in more premium bakery products. This has been partially caused by a 10-18% drop in the consumption of bread and bakery products bought from retail chains. Many customers are starting to prefer small, independent bakeries or baking at home rather than buying from retail chains. 

This may explain why artisanal bread was a market leader for 2016, accounting for 32% value share.
Russians want natural ingredients with no additives in their bakery products

The global trend for eating and living healthily has also swept through Russia, affecting the national consumption of breads, biscuits and other baked goods. There is a slight decline in volume sales as consumer preference shifted towards healthier consumption habits. 

Baked goods and pastries are generally seen as unhealthy. Baked goods manufacturers have responded to this trend by coming up with products made with natural ingredients, with no preservatives or artificial colours to reach out to this more health-conscious market.

This just opens up further avenues for organic and health food specialists to explore when it comes to Russia.

A craving for convenience

Bakery and cereal products chosen based on their ability to meet personal time constrictions and price. Demands for products convenient for the on-the-go consumption is expected to increase as more and more people adopt busy lifestyles. Frozen baked products in particular are seen by industry insiders as a very promising market, seeing as there was a 46% increase in the production of semi-finished and frozen bakery products consumers can just pop into the oven.
There is also growing preferences toward packaged biscuits that are convenient to store and consume, shown by the strong value growth of 11% in 2014. Consumers also show a preference for breads with longer shelf-life, resulting in a decline in domestic production of bread and bakery products with short shelf-life by 2.8% to 6.1 million tons.


Grab a slice of the Russian baked goods market at WorldFood Moscow

To break into the Russian baked goods market, you need to meet the right people and establish the right connections. Vital figures—importers, distributors, wholesalers, restauranteurs and retailers—will be at WorldFood Moscow, Russia’s leading and longest running trade event for the international food industry. Deadline for exhibitor spaces is coming up fast—book your stand today

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Tony Higginson

International Sales Director


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