Russia food & drink market update July 2018

The World Cup is nearing its final stages in July 2018 – but the Russian food and drink industry will continue pumping out foodstuffs and news stories long after the tournament is over.

Russian public dining sector welcomes market recovery

Turnover at Russia’s restaurants, cafes, and other public catering enterprises rose 3% year-on-year in Q1 2018. Between January and March that year, to RUB556.2 – or around $8 billion. Sector recovery continues, following a successful 2017. During that year, revenues generated from catering and restaurant businesses rose 3.2%. This comes off the back of a recession-caused slump in numbers of Russians choosing to dine out instead of eating at home – something Russian restaurateurs have had to deal with for the past four years. This segment is now showing positive signs toward keeping this momentum rolling.

Fast food, for instance, is a key market driver in Russia right now. As Russia’s economic health steadies, the numbers of Russians eating out will increase too. 

Egypt exports to Russia skyrocket in 2018

Egypt’s 2018 is off to a great start. Across the first four months of the year so far, the nation has increased its exports to Russia by an astounding 41%. Of this total, 82% is fruit and vegetable items. In fact, Egypt’s exports of agricultural products are expanding faster than the overall export growth rate. These shipments enjoyed a 42.5% increase between Jan-April 2018.

Total Egyptian fruit and vegetable product exports hit a $233.7m at this time – a new record for the review period. On the menu for importers and wholesalers were Egyptian tomatoes, oranges, potatoes and strawberries. Egypt is able to expand its imports at the expense of EU producers who, four years since the embargo was put in place, are still banned from shipping their agricultural products to Russia. 

France succeeds on Russian cheese

In our FIFA World Cup market roundup special, we highlighted Moscow cheesemaker Oleg Sirota and his quest to make European favourites on Russian soil. Mr Sirota was keen to get his take on gouda and parmesan into French players’ hands and bellies. Well so far, Mr Sirota and his “Russky Parmezan” creamery have done well.

The cheese specialist says he has sold 400kg of Gouda to the French national side, whose training base is nearby to his factory. At the time of writing France is preparing for a quarter-final tie with Uruguay on their way to the 2018 finals. Mr Sirota claims to have discovered what makes them tick… “I understood what the secret of the French team is,” Mr Sirota told Reuters. “They just fill themselves with good cheese, eat it and win!”

Let’s hope Russky Parmezan has some spare for the Russian national side. They are currently having their best World Cup ever, having reached the competition’s quarter final stage for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union – and could use an extra cheesy boost to beat Croatia and earn a place in the semi-finals.