Off-trade retailers are by far the most popular outlets for purchases of alcoholic drinks in volume terms in Russia, largely due to the significantly lower average unit prices than in consumer foodservice outlets. In addition, there are few taboos around drinking at home in the country.
Imported lager in both its premium and mid-priced formats continued to record strong off-trade volume growth in 2020 thanks to the perception of imported beer as being of high quality. In addition, the strong development of food/drink/tobacco specialists such as Krasnoe I Beloe, Bristol and others also supported growth.
Craft beer is largely sold through on-trade outlets in Russia and therefore suffered due to the many restrictions on the horeca channel in 2020. The best dynamics were observed among those brands which had previously been able to enter modern grocery retailer chains, for example Volkovskaya Pivovarnya Ale.
Off-trade volume sales of beer are set to decline marginally over the forecast period. In 2021, off-trade volumes will fall as on-trade sales stage somewhat of a recovery, although consumer foodservice sales of beer will struggle to surpass pre-pandemic levels by 2025 as many consumers remain cautious around social contact for some time to come, while disposable incomes will take time to recover after the devasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smaller and niche areas within beer such as ale, Weissbier/Weizen/wheat beer, flavoured/mixed lager and non-alcoholic beer will continue to achieve strong growth over the forecast period. Russian consumers are becoming more sophisticated and ready for unusual flavours and varieties of beer.
Possible legislative changes may negatively affect the development of beer in Russia. The government of the Russian Federation is proposing new labelling laws which would apply to beer and other alcoholic drinks as part of its measures to control illegal sales and counterfeiting.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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