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Health for breakfast; indulgence for lunch - Instant porridge blossoms in Russia

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By Anna Bonar+

Last updated on 07-Jul-2014 at 10:54 GMT

Instant porridge surge in Russia: Oat, multigrain and buckwheat as hot ingredients
Instant porridge surge in Russia: Oat, multigrain and buckwheat as hot ingredients

Instant hot cereal is rising in Russia as urban consumers seek healthy, convenient options, but beware - indulgence remains top of mind, says an analyst from Canadean.

Canadean found Russians in urban areas were looking for time-saving options in their breakfast choices.  

In Russia, bakery and cereals was one of the fastest growing sectors in 2013 and had a predicted Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.8% up to 2018, according to the report.  Hot cereals grew at a CAGR of 6.9% between 2008-2013.

“Instant porridge, as a convenient and healthy energy boost, competes with other breakfast options such as sandwiches or dairy products and is set to grow at a faster rate than dairy products taking a share of the breakfast market from this category,” Veronika Zhupanova, analyst at Canadean, told

Perfect porridge formula

For manufacturers interested in entering the Russian market the analyst said: “Russia’s cereal market operates differently to major European countries and identifying these differences will be key to finding success. As opposed to Europe, in Russia hot cereals market is bigger than the ready-to-eat cereals by volume.

“When it comes to grains buckwheat is loved by Russians, and is considered not only a breakfast option but can also accompany meals during the day. Oat and multigrain are also very popular.”

She also pointed out that Russians were drawn to savory tastes such as meaty flavors and mushroom. In the morning sweet tastes were more common, while in the UK they would be considered a dessert.

Health or indulgence?

“We have seen a rising interest in functional porridges containing unusual ingredients such as amaranth and linseed that offer a range of health benefits, such as helping with slimming, maintaining gut health and providing vitamins. Instant cereals manufacturers should take inspiration from this and add functional value to their products,” said Zhupanova.

Although health became increasingly important for Russians while making food choices - 22.4% cited health-related expectations motivating breakfast cereal consumption - it was not a dominant priority during breakfast. Instead, indulgence was equally important, she said.

So, manufacturers should highlight taste credentials alongside underlining health functions, she said. In the morning, for example, Russians were more likely to prioritize health, while in the afternoon it was more about taste, she explained.

“To encourage further instant porridge consumption producers should explicitly target occasions beyond breakfast, such as afternoon hunger fix.”

Behind the steering wheel

Nestlé held a strong position on Russia’s breakfast cereals market with its instant porridge brand Bystrov, with 9.1% market share, largely driven by the search for value for money. Zhupanova said there was a slight tendency to trust producers from some Western countries more (such as Finland and Germany), as well as local manufacturers that had existed since the Soviet Union times.

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