Russians buy less vodka, still pay as much

The market research company GfK Rus reports that, in the first half of 2013, Russians bought 24 percent less vodka than during the same period last year. The study shows that the main driver of the sales drop was a decrease in the frequency of purchases, as well as a reduction in the number of vodka buyers by nine percent.

The market research company GfK Rus reports that, in the first half of 2013, Russians bought 24 percent less vodka than during the same period last year. The study shows that the main driver of the sales drop was a decrease in the frequency of purchases, as well as a reduction in the number of vodka buyers by nine percent.

According to data from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, retail sales of vodka between January and May 2013 fell by 8.9 percent to 195.7 million ounces, as compared to the same period last year. In addition, the production of vodka during this period dropped by 28.3 percent.

However, the study reports that sales figures were virtually stable, increasing by 4 percent compared to last year — a situation linked to the excise hike on vodka and the corresponding price increase for the product.

As members of the Association of Retail Trade Companies told Prime news agency earlier, the higher excise on vodka spirits is causing a significant decrease in the number of bottles sold; yet, because the price has risen, retailers have not lost money.

The studies show that the only growing format in the category remains the 12-ounce packaging, sales of which have increased naturally by nearly 8 percent.

“But this trend seems to be a short-term one, resulting from consumers’ immediate reaction to the rising prices,” GfK Rus says.

The Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation is presenting the idea of calculating the price of bottles of vodka between 12 and 16 ounces based on the price of a 16-ounce bottle.

The study’s findings reveal that consumers are showing interest in other alcohol categories, as well; in particular, the whiskey market continues to actively evolve. The proportion of whiskey buyers rose 1.5 percent, and the category volume jumped by nearly a third.

First published in Russian in RIA Novosti.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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