With ongoing political and economic woes, 2015 is expected to be a challenging year for the Russian marketplace. Euromonitor International projects that in 2015 Russia’s real GDP will decrease by 3.8% and consumer expenditure will fall by 4.6%, in constant 2014 prices. As a result, many Russians are expected to trade down. In 2015, retail sales of tissue and hygiene in Russia are projected to see only 1% rise in constant value (US$ fixed 2014 exchange rate) to achieve US$4.4 billion. However, volume sales for many categories are expected to register stronger growth, reflective of weakened purchasing power and bargain shopping.
While challenging in the short term, Russia’s downturn creates a window of opportunity for domestic brands to capture consumer attention, build customer loyalty and drive domestic industry growth, helped by expanding local production and improved supply chain.