Further strong value growth is expected in 2021 for edible oils in Eastern Europe. However, while growth in 2020 was mainly driven by more home-cooking due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 2021 value sales increase will be predominantly due to rising prices. With more moderate price rises expected over the forecast period, more modest growth rates are therefore expected in real value terms.
In 2020, the pandemic positively affected retail sales of edible oils in both value and volume terms, with home seclusion and foodservice closures increasing consumers’ levels of home-cooking. There was also a certain amount of stockpiling when COVID-19 hit the region. Moving into 2021, even with the virus still present in the region, the home-cooking trend was less prevalent than a year earlier, as consumers were emerging from home seclusion and returning to more active outdoor lifestyles.
While stronger value growth was seen in 2021, volume sales actually declined, showing that the performance in value terms was based, to a large extent, on rising prices. While Russia continued to see unit prices for edible oils ticking upwards, there were particularly strong price rises in Ukraine.
With the Russian sunflower oil market being affected by price rises in 2020, the government and industry players got together to agree price limits to avoid even bigger jumps in prices. The maximum prices at which manufacturing plants could sell one litre of sunflower oil were set at no more than RUB95 for wholesale and RUB110 in retail. These limits remained in place until October 2021.
Other edible oil is expected to register the strongest CAGR over the forecast period in Russia, as well as Eastern Europe as a whole. At the end of the 2016-2021 period, this category was mostly represented by linseed oil and mustard oil in Russia. The main growth drivers are the trend towards healthy eating and the desire among consumers to experiment and try more exotic options. Interest is also set to continue to grow in options like grape seed oil, avocado oil and oils with pronounced benefits, such as flaxseed, pumpkin and walnut.
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