Are you selling an assortment that current consumers need and desire?
I ask this question to myself often and I’ve done it throughout my food industry experience. Heading Leipurin Russia and East region business I find passion in understanding consumers in my market so I, together with team, are able to help our bakery and confectionary customers grow their business.
New consumer needs
Consumers in our region (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan) have become more educated, more demanding – consumers want to know what they eat, and they are more aware about ingredients. Consumer is the king of the game. Consumers read more, spend time on internet and apply that information into their consumption behavior. Healthy and more natural ingredients is clearly trending and on the rise. Consumers ask what is good for me and what is not.
Sometimes this behavior and word-of-mouth even gets exaggerated – this has been the case recently with yeast-free becoming trendy among certain consumer segments who believe this has positive effects to weight control and digestion and consumers are paying premium price and searching for yeast free breads.
What does this mean to customers and suppliers in our region? Bakeries and Confectionary companies continue to strive for tasty attractive end products. Mindset starts to change: more companies start to understand that consumers define the success of this business. We need to listen and talk to customers as much as possible, and speed up relevant offerings that address consumer trends and needs. Clean label and ingredients composition is important for our customers and consumers and we're putting efforts to meet these expectations. Also with some of our products we have included more seeds and whole grains composition to match new needs related to health and nature.
Market has changed, world has become more mobile but at the same time key expectations remain valid: simple high quality, fresh and tasty bakery and confectionary products are wanted to serve clients every day, wherever they are.
Some recent Russia market observations:
- Consumer consumption is increasingly driven by healthy concepts, indulgence and convenience. Taste matters, and price for wealthy consumers is less an issue
- B2B business is still very price sensitive, we feel that as a supplier
- Flour confectionary sector is developing and all vendors ranging from big industrials to small bakeries are building their assortment with the goal to compete more through differentiation and service
- Frozen bakery & confectionary foods market is vivid and developing, however the quality and variety is not yet European level
With these consumer and market insights I wish all of you best of success during upcoming autumn season, both in business and pleasure. For our Leipurin family I embrace our new creative energy as we have now entered into a new century of business (Leipurin established 100 years ago) with even more tasty and modern ideas. This way we continue to be an innovative and trusted partner for our customers.
Vice President, Leipurin East and General Director Leipurin Russia