Already the sixth largest economy in the world, Russia is growing by leaps and bounds, Ilona Lepp of Nielsen Russia's Retail Measurement Services reports in the September issue of Nielsen’s “Consumer Insight” online newsletter.
According to the 2008 Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index, Russia is well ahead of the global average of 88, with an index of 105 for the first half of 2008 -- up three points over levels in the first half of 2007.
The Russian market, though still in the early stages of development, already has the largest number of retail stores (264,373) in East and Central Europe, Lepp notes. The number of hyper/supermarkets in Russia also grew by leaps and bounds in 2007 (+67% over 2006), while the percentage of shoppers who purchase fresh food in open markets -- traditionally popular in Russia -- fell in 2008.
Meanwhile, urban Russians are devoting more time to working and studying and less time to cooking meals at home. According to Nielsen, "meal makers" are the fastest growing food categories in Russia (+47% volume over 2007). Sales of snacks, chocolate bars, single-serve yogurts, and other "on the run" products are also on the rise in Russia.
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