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WorldFood Moscow Market Survey Part 2: challenges & opportunities

In part one of our series on ITE Food & Drink Market Insights’ WorldFood Moscow 2016 market survey, we took a how confidence in Russia’s food and beverages sector is on the rise. Now, we shine on a light on why optimism faltered in the first place. 

The past 18 months has been a rollercoaster of food bans, economic uncertainty and falling import volumes. Part two of our survey series takes a look at the main issues affecting WorldFood Moscow 2016’s exhibitors. Was it all doom and gloom? Or did some food professionals have cause for excitement? Read on to find out.

Monetary woes affect Russia’s food & drink market

It will come as no surprise to reveal that nearly 3 quarters of respondents stated Russia had been a challenging market during 2015.

Found Last 12 months in Russia a challenge chart

Currency was the main drawback for exhibitors. With the collapse of the rouble, losing more than half its value in 2015, Russian purchasing budgets were slashed considerably. Naturally, this had a damaging effect on exporters’ volumes and shipment values. Russian consumers simply could not afford the higher costs of imported goods, leading to lower import levels.

Why Was Russia a Challenge Chart

2015 not a challenge for all food & drink exporters

Not all survey participants saw 2015’s events as dead ends - just under 20%, in fact. Of those, 60% saw a golden opportunity to lay the foundations for future Russian expansion. This seemed to run particularly true for companies from South America and the Middle East. Thanks to Russian food bans, namely on EU-sourced produce, a sizeable gap in the market for foreign companies to exploit was presented. 

Why was Russia not a challenge chart

Even with the rouble’s instability, certain products are in high demand by Russian consumers. Fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, are some of the most popular in demand products. Where does Russia source these? That’s right: overseas. Unsanctioned producers noticed this, and networked accordingly.

Fewer product launches in Russian throughout 2016

Perhaps reflecting the trials and tribulations of the past year, fewer companies said they launched new products in Russia in 2015. 55% of respondents stated their businesses had refrained from launching new product lines over the past 12 months.

Launched any new products in Russia over the past 12 months chart

Despite this, as was shown in part one of our WorldFood Moscow 2016 market survey series, optimism in Russia was on the rise amongst our respondents. 

If you want to learn some valuable lessons from WorldFood Moscow exhibitors on how to crack the Russian market, make sure you check back to Market Insights soon to read part three of our survey to find exhibitors’ top tips.

Read more: WorldFood Moscow Market Survey Part 1: Optimism on the rise
Read more: WorldFood Moscow Market Survey Part 3: Finding success & learning lessons


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Tony Higginson

International Sales Director


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