No 30

The Dynamic Coffee Culture in Russia

December, 2015

TRENDS

The Dynamic Coffee Culture in Russia

An important presence of local chains of specialist coffee shops is a peculiarity of this dynamic emerging market.

The coffee market in Russia has grown drastically since 2000; its great commercial potential makes it a country impossible to ignore in the global coffee scene: it is currently the sixth largest market in the world.

It is no coincidence that in the last edition of ExpoEspeciales Café de Colombia in October, the ICO Executive Director, Robério Oliveira, highlighted Russia as one of the emerging coffee markets whose growth have most contributed to raise global demand.

Like in most of markets where tea has historically been the dominant hot drink, freeze-dried coffee has played a key role in consolidation of the Russian coffee culture, opening the door to fresh coffee. However, the Russian market has particularities ranging from the quality of coffee that it demands to unique modalities of coffee shops.

Growth of fresh (non-soluble) coffee consumption in Russia boosted overall growth of the coffee market last year. The reason for this phenomenon is that coffee quality has become an important criterion for consumers, who have become used to taste coffees offered by specialty coffee shops. On the other hand, instant coffee, although it did not significantly contribute to growth of the coffee market, is still the type of coffee preferred by Russian consumers. Instant coffee market was worth about US$ 3.7 billion in 2014, a value that ranks it as the largest freeze-dried coffee market in the world. 

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Meanwhile, since coffee culture is still young in Russia, consumers are more open to experience different types of brewing. This would explain rapid growth of single-serve brewing since its introduction in the mid-2000s. Although this type of brewing is still a small market niche, with just 2.7% of total coffee sales in Russia, it represented about $100 million and is projected to grow faster in the coming years.

The growing coffee culture in a large part of the world is influenced by specialist coffee shops and Russia is no exception. But unlike other markets, where large global chains play the leading role, in Russia the local franchises and independent coffee shops are very successful and compete shoulder to shoulder with the big industry players.

Domestic franchises have different formats. In some cases, they resemble European formats, where coffee shares the limelight with other products such as pastries and small meals: it is the case of such chains as Shokoladnitsa.

Shops more similar to the American format are also welcome, especially in big cities: the best known local representatives are Kofe Khauz (Coffee House) and Traveler’s Coffee.

Lastly, there are the “anti-cafés”, a format original from this country: in these stores, customers pay for the time spent in the place and not for what they consume. Stores of this type are beginning to open their doors in some European countries and are seen as a novelty.

Growth of specialist coffee shops in Russia confirms consumers’ growing interest in quality coffees.

New Specialist Coffee Shops: Top 5 Markets by Absolute Value Growth 2008-13
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Source: Euromonitor International


Evolution of the coffee consumption culture in Russia is a natural response to this country’s close contact with the rest of Europe. However, it has not been its only influence, responding also to the culture of specialist coffee shops that has globalized in the last two decades. High-quality coffees in Russia are currently in the stage of development and both local and foreign players seek to join the momentum of this category.

For Café de Colombia and the 100% Program brands, Russia represents also interesting opportunities to explore new markets, because demand for high-quality instant coffees and specialty coffees is on the rise.

 


You are invited to learn more about our coffee family and our products, visiting the BEAN & BEYOND sections on the top of this page.