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Vegetables or grains: how prices influence the taste preferences of people in Russia

Kommersant newspaper published a piece on the rise in prices for fresh vegetables and the changes in the diet of Russian citizens associated therewith. The authors of the article have cited the data showing that over the past year, sales of vegetable products in the domestic market decreased by 2.8 percent in monetary terms. The reduction in consumer demand affected such crops as potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, and cabbage. The reason for this is the increasing price of these products. At the same time, sales of whole grains have increased by 1.3 percent indicating that consumers are forced to switch to more affordable food.

According to the authors of the study, domestic vegetable producers prefer not to notice the trend and continue to increase the production volume of vegetables as a substitute for imported products.

Zhanna Yeronina, the head of the marketing department of the ECO-Culture agricultural holding, commented on the Russian vegetable market situation as an invited expert. According to her, the tendency voiced by the newspaper concerns the companies producing inexpensive tomatoes. At the same time, consumption of cocktail and cherry tomatoes – the main crops of the holding – is still growing. According to the Market Research Institute (GfK), the sales of these vegetables increased by 8.2 percent in monetary terms. This is largely due to the excellent quality of such products offered by ECO-Culture, as well as its environmental safety.

It is noteworthy that other invited experts (heads of large vegetable production companies), do not notice a decline in the sale of vegetables either, and consider statistical changes in the consumption of certain products to be a temporary phenomenon.

The country’s largest retailers have mostly not confirmed the drop in sales growth. However, according to experts, this may be due to the outflow of customers from small shops and markets to supermarkets.

Read the full article in Kommersant newspaper, issue 206.