Russia gets taste for imported wines

16 May, 2014

Russian consumers are turning to imported wines, especially sparkling wines, as traditional beverages such as vodka and beer decline in popularity, according to Wine Intelligence.

Russia Wine Market, WI’s new Landscape report, details the consumer behaviour and attitudes of imported wine drinkers resident in Moscow and St Petersburg, representing a consumer market of approximately six million imported wine drinkers.

The study compared findings from a survey of a representative sample of this population in March 2014, from a survey using the same methodology in March 2012.

The WI report says consumption frequency of imported wines has risen significantly over the past two years, with 40% of respondents saying they drink imported wines at least twice a week, compared with 29% in 2012.

Big winners would appear to be lighter, sweeter styles of still wine, with rose wines and Moscato showing a notable broadening of their audience. Sparkling wines have also shown growth, with imported sparkling continuing on a growth trajectory that has seen its volumes in the Russian market double in the past 5 years.

At the same time the way in which Russians are shopping for wine appears to be changing, with brand increasingly important, and the emergence of promotional offer as a choice cue. The proportion of respondents agreeing with the phrase “Wine is an expensive drink” fell from 62% to 51% over the past 2 years.

WI COO Richard Halstead said: "The Russian wine market presents many challenges for brand owners, but it’s clear the market is becoming more attractive from a consumer point of view".

“The data suggests there is a growing interest in the lighter, fruit-driven wine styles, and in sparkling wine particularly, which is consistent with patterns we are seeing in some other markets".

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