Modern Bakery 2003, the international trade fair for bakery equipment and food ingredients, was held last month in Moscow. The success of the event demonstrates the growing importance of Russia as a key market for the bakery and snacks industry.
Almost 15,900 trade visitors and 100 exhibitors attended the event, which was spread over 2,500 square metres of exhibition space. Industries from all regions of the Russian Federation and adjacent states were represented.
Companies from western Europe also attended, along with a delegation of experts from China.
The event highlighted innovations in a number of fields including bakery machines, baking ovens, baking ingredients, shop fittings and associated accessories. Products from around the world were exhibited.
Russia is becoming a highly attractive market for the bakery industry. With 144 million inhabitants, the country is the largest consumer market in Eastern Europe, and there are signs that the economy is stabilising.
In the first three months of this year for example, Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 6.4 per cent compared to the year before. And the available real income of citizens - an important indicator for the Russian bakery and pastry industry - increased by 16 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2002.
The Russian market is becoming more and more attractive for foreign enterprises. Finland-based Chips group for example recently took over 100 per cent of the Russian Snack Company.
Chips believes that the Russian bakery and snack market has great growth potential. Per capita consumption is only about 0.3 kg a year, while the equivalent figure for the Baltic countries is around 1 kg and that for Finland 2.3 kg.
For information about Modern Bakery 2004, visit www.owp-tradefairs.com.