Moscow, February 15 – Almost half of Russians, after the departure of familiar foreign brands, have switched to domestic brands over the past year, guided, among other things, by the desire to support domestic manufacturers, but a third have not changed their preferences, continuing to buy the same brands, According to materials from the research company Nielsen, available from the News Agency.
Nielsen calculates a quarterly consumer optimism index based on a survey of 1,000 respondents from Russia’s largest cities with a population of 1 million. The topic of local brands and consumer perceptions of localization has been added to the new assessment of the index based on the results of the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Over the past year, slightly less than half of Russians (47%), due to the lack of familiar foreign brands, have completely switched or started buying more often domestic or home-made brands,” says the study. In turn, about a third of respondents (36%) do not change their preferences and buy the same brands as before, and 17%, due to the lack of familiar foreign goods, buy products of other brands, but also of foreign production.
Under the pressure of sanctions, many foreign companies have announced their withdrawal from Russia: some have already transferred the company to the management of local partners, changing its name, others are still negotiating a sale. Basically, these were brands associated with clothing, food products and household chemicals, and this process was affected to a much lesser extent, and so far no significant changes have occurred, says Alexey Popovichev, Executive Director of the Association of Producers of Trademarks “Rusbrand”.
For example, over the past year, there has been a significant shift in consumers to baby food made in Russia, household chemicals and soft drinks, he says, noting that never before has the assortment changed so quickly. Many members of the association in 2023 expect to expand the range and plan to introduce new products.
The reasons for switching to domestic brands are different: as follows from Nielsen materials, more than half of the buyers who completely switched to these brands in order to support domestic manufacturers, and 20% indicated that it was impossible to find foreign analogues of the departing brands that suits them at a price, and 10% point to the fact that they do not see foreign analogues that correspond to the quality characteristics that are important to them.
Among those who have begun to buy brands of domestic manufacturers more often, every fourth out of ten (38%) would like to support them, a third (33%) are dissatisfied with the prices of foreign analogues, and every fifth (21%) cannot find On acceptable in terms of non-price characteristics – for example, by taste or quality, – foreign brands. Popovichev is sure that the right time has come for the Russian manufacturer: those who take advantage of this moment, while maintaining quality and investing in marketing, will be able to take massively vacant places.
It is equally important that the consumer himself is willing to switch to locally produced goods and support these producers – therefore, it is imperative that local companies do not deceive these expectations. “If production capacities cannot meet the growing demand, it is necessary to invest in development; savings can lead to a desire to simplify the process, and this is fraught with a loss of quality,” warns President Rosbrand.
According to the survey, four out of ten respondents (43%), when choosing an analogue to replace a familiar brand, are guided by the best value for money. Almost in equal shares, the decision is made on the basis of a discount or promotion (14%), online reviews (13%) and a low price (12%). But the popularity of the brand, as well as the advice of friends, is taken into account by only 5% of respondents.
In order to determine where the brand is produced, more than half study the information on the packaging, a quarter of the respondents – on the Internet, slightly less, 22% and 19% look at what is written on the website of the online store or manufacturer, and 13% connect with friends and relatives.
Over the past year, the IKEA chain has left Russia, plans to close stores or leave in various versions have been announced by brands of both luxury and mass-market clothing: Prada, Hermes, Chanel, Marks & Spencer, Inditex Corporation (brands Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius and others), Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), sports networks Adidas and Puma.
In the field of food and beverages, decisions to suspend sales and supplies, to suspend investments and advertising, or to sell assets, expressed, for example, by international concerns such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Carlsberg, Danone, Nestle, Lipton, Polig, phaser.
For example, the company “May” (tea brands “Maisky”, “Lisma”, “Richard”, Curtis) against the background of the withdrawal of several foreign tea brands from the Russian market (Lipton, Saito, Brooke Bond) sees an increase in demand for its products , says marketing director Andrei Sazonov.
“Despite the difficulties of 2022, we have fulfilled our plans and in 2023 we plan to increase the production and sales of tea and coffee products not only in the Russian Federation, but also in the European Economic Union, and in all other countries in which the company’s brands are present and there are 69 of them.
The Moscow Ochakovo beer and non-alcoholic plant, which is one of the producers that has launched its own cola production and plans to introduce more novelties to the market in the near future, is also witnessing an increase in demand – primarily for non-alcoholic soft drinks, and expanding the geography of its production. For example, CoolCola, Fancy and Street’s bottling capacity is now 125 million deciliters per year, which is 2.5 times more than planned at the start of production in March 2022, according to the press service.
But the process of consumer transition to new products is long and multifactorial, and the substitution has not yet been completed, adds Maxim Novikov, head of the Union of Producers of Juice, Water and Beverages (Soyuznapetky). “In addition, it is worth considering the fact that new brands are now appearing on the market, and it will take some time to assess whether consumers are ready to switch to them. At the moment, the process of consumer transformation in the beverage market is still going on,” he said.
Jean-Paul 1977 posts