Monday, December 7, 2015

Alcohol In Russia

Alcoholic consumption continues declining

Russia’s strict anti-alcohol policy has severely hit domestic sales of alcoholic drinks. Direct upward pressure has been put on alcohol retail prices through progressive excise tax and regulation of minimum prices of strong alcohol. 2013 and 2014 became the hardest years for alcoholic drinks as the highest increase of excise tax was recorded in that period. Over the review period non-price measures were applied to limit alcohol accessibility for consumers including ban of alcohol sales through street stalls/kiosks, ban on alcohol sales in many public places and ban on night-time sales. The effect was strengthened by complete prohibition of alcohol advertising with the exception of beer which has been granted limited advertising opportunities since the middle of 2014. All these regulations introduced in the review period still had a negative effect on alcoholic drinks in 2014.

Ban of sales through kiosks still has a dampening effect on beer

Ban of alcohol sales through street stalls/kiosks implemented in 2013 still has a negative effect on beer in Russia. The consumption culture of buying beer from kiosks passing by and drinking it as a cold drink during summer has disappeared with the new restrictions. Those consumers who used kiosks/street stalls as a common channel from which to buy beer could not recreate such a habit by buying beer in outlets of bigger selling space. Part of beer sales from kiosks transferred to independent small grocers, convenience stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets. However, another part was lost irretrievably.

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