In 2018, consumption of sweets in Russia broke the record of the previous year for all key indicators – consumption, production, sales, and export. The consumption of confectionery products reached 25.2 kg per person, while Russia still lags behind economically developed countries in the consumption of sweets. Even the deteriorating economic situation and the decline in consumer sentiment in the second half of 2018 could not adversely affect the results of the year as a whole.
In Q1 2019, there was a slight increase in the share of consumers of sweets – a particularly noticeable increase was in consumption of cheaper confectionery, chocolate bars and weighted candies, as well as an increase in the frequency of consumption of bars and sweets in boxes.
At the same time, in Q2 2019 the average consumption of confectionery products slightly decreased, which is primarily due to the increase in prices for confectionery products. In June 2019, confectionery products prices on average rose 4.8%. In many ways, the increase in prices for confectionery products was the result of an increase in VAT. Earlier, Russian confectioners, realistically assessing the purchasing power of the population, tried to restrain prices for their products, but at the beginning of 2019 manufacturers and retailers increased the price of confectionery products by more than 10%. The next factor, which in the coming months will again affect the increase in prices for confectionery products, will be an increase in VAT on palm oil, and this will also lead to an increase in prices for confectionery products by 5-10%.
The main driver of sales growth is the sale of chocolate by promotion. In 2018, the sales of chocolate in bars increased by 13% in real terms and by 8% in monetary terms. Sales of the second largest category – assorted chocolates in boxes – decreased by 4% in real terms, while sales of weighted chocolates increased by 7%.
At the same time, high-income consumers are more likely to choose chocolate and low-income people - cheaper confectionery (for example, snacks) as a source of available carbohydrates.
In 2018, flour products also became the driver of the growth of the confectionery market: this segment increased by more than 9%. The growth of the category of flour confectionery products (including cookies, muffins, cakes): the average bill for buying them is less, and they are often bought for tea (both packaged and by weight).
Interest in flour products continues to grow. The best-selling sweets in July 2019 in Russia were cookies, gingerbread cookies and waffles, while their prices increased on average by 5%, and the growth in consumption by 2%. The main consumers of gingerbread in Russia are middle-aged and older people. Young people rarely prefer to buy them in the absence of interesting offers.
In second place among the popular sweets among the residents of Russia are chocolate products, their sales grew by 3%. Candied fruits, jam and oriental sweets are on the third place. Chocolate pasta, pastries and cakes are at the end of the confectionery list.
The most expensive sweets are chocolates. Their average price in July was about 600 rubles (or 8.5 euro), and chocolate bars – about 850 rubles (or 12 euro) per kg. Marshmallows and pastille are leaders in terms of sales growth (7%) and price increase (5%). The average price for cookies in July 2019 was 150 rubles (or 2.1 euro) per kg and remained at the level of 2018.
In 2019, the market showed a slight drop in customer interest in caramel and “pure” chocolate. But the demand for weighted chocolates is predominantly growing. The increase in consumer interest in confectionery products can be explained by the constant expansion of the range, the search for new products and new technologies by confectioners.
Confectionery products are in constant demand. In Russia, seasonal demand contributes to sales growth: Russians traditionally actively buy chocolate and other confectionery products for the New Year and Christmas, and then Women’s Day. This year, the peak of sales was traditionally observed in March. Sweets belong to the category of “products for pleasure,” so it is in demand among customers throughout the year.