19th May, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Russian tastes for imported and sparkling wines are growing while the popularity of traditional beverages, such as vodka and beer, are in decline, according to a recent report by Wine Intelligence.
The Russia Wine Market Landscape Report 2014, published today by Wine Intelligence, details the consumer behaviour and attitudes of imported wine drinkers in Moscow and St Petersburg, representing a consumer market of approximately 6 million.
The study compared findings from a survey of a sample of this population in March 2014, to the same survey carried out in March 2012.
According to the report, 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.
The most popular imported wine styles were lighter, sweeter styles of still wine, with rose wines and moscato making significant strides in terms of popularity, while sparkling wines have also shown growth with imported volumes in the Russian market doubling in the past five years.
The way in which Russians make purchasing decisions also appears to be changing.
The report said branding was increasingly important and the emergence of promotional offers in swaying purchasing decisions, with the proportion of respondents agreeing with the phrase “wine is an expensive drink” falling from 62% to 51% over the past two years.
Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence, 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”.