Russian consumer trends of staying at home, need for convenience, altering country's food packaging direction; easy-open food can purchases increased by 12% in 2010

LOS ANGELES , August 10, 2011 () – Two major trends emerging over the last few years — the need for convenience and staying at home — are affecting the direction of food packaging in Russia, Food Production Daily reported Aug. 9, citing a study by Euromonitor.

Packaging for food that offers convenience and functionality, such as easy-open metal cans, microwavable packages and flip-top water bottles, is popular with Russian consumers, according to Regina Maiseviciute, a packaging industry analyst at Euromonitor.

Easy-open can purchases increased by 12% last year, due in part to wider use in canned foods, according to Maiseviciute.

Consumers are going out less during the economic downturn, opting instead to eat and entertain at home. Manufacturers have responded by reproducing the “food service experience” with home beer drafts, bag in box wines and 3-liter polyethylene terephthalate wine bottles, Maiseviciute said.

Wine is also being offered in smaller-sized bottles as more 330-milliliter glass and PET bottles appear on shelves. The smaller size allows for portability and is suitable for drinking outdoors, Maiseviciute said. The 330-milliliter type of package is forecast to have a compounded annual growth rate of 8% until 2014.

In regard to premiumisation, Maiseviciute said metal packaging for alcohol—mostly for gifts—was prevalent. However, the trend is only seasonal, said Maiseviciute, because of the product’s cost.

Glass packaging producers have begun experimenting with their products for the purposes of differentiation, changing the product’s shape, for instance, or changing the type of print, Maiseviciute said.

Russians consider drinkable yogurt a premium product and its popularity presents high-density polyethylene bottle producers a significant opportunity, Maiseviciute added.

In general, Russia’s economy is improving at a faster clip than other economies, Maiseviciute said, and manufacturers in the country who were seeking cost-effective solutions during the recession are no longer doing so.

The primary source of this article is Food Production Daily, Montpellier, France, Aug. 9, 2011.

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