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To Russia with Love: Snacks manufacturers urged to target Russian men

Vince Bamford

By Vince Bamford+

Last updated on 15-Sep-2016 at 10:19 GMT2016-09-15T10:19:10Z

Almost a third of Russian men eat snacks to relax. Pic: © iStock/Blackregis
Almost a third of Russian men eat snacks to relax. Pic: © iStock/Blackregis

Russian men have been flagged up by analysts as a big opportunity for manufacturers to develop business in Russia's rapidly expanding snacks market.

Although men represent 46% of Russia’s population, they account for just 43% of all savory snack occasions according to consumer insights firm Canadean – suggesting an untapped opportunity for snacks targeted specifically at males.

To date, much of the snacks product development in the country has been unisex, said Canadean analyst Veronika Zhupanova, adding that research suggested indulgent snacks that are overtly masculine in design and positioning could stand out from the crowd.

One such existing product, Canadean pointed out, is the Just Brutal potato chip brand from Belarus. Although not targeted specifically at men, the packaging has a masculine design and the chips come in flavors such as Bloody Mary and Steak to appeal to a male audience.

Canadean found that nearly 30% of savory snacks were eaten by Russian men as a way of relaxing – versus 21% of snacks eaten by women. The firm also learned that indulgence is more important to men than women, with this driving 39% of men’s consumption, and 28% of women’s.

Pleasure seeking

The implication is clear, said Canadean, snack manufacturers can appeal to males by engaging their pleasure-seeking side.

While women are considered a wider audience, men represent a substantial market with genuine growth potential,” added Zhupanova.

Ways to tap the opportunity, suggest Canadean, include:

  • Dark-colored packaging
  • Larger pack sizes
  • Claims such as ‘rich in protein’

Products such as nuts and seeds can more overtly target ‘masculine’ occasions, such as restoring energy after a workout,” added Zhupanova.

But she warned that manufacturers must be careful around emotional cues as, despite research showing men can be motivated by factors such as a desire for relaxation, they typically reject concepts that come across as overtly emotive.

The information on consumer demand is part of Canadean report Consumer and Market Insights: Savory Snacks in Russia .

The report also states the Russian savory snacks market was worth $2.7bn in 2015, and is forecast to grow at 10.1% compound annual growth rate to reach $4.3bn by 2020.

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