Experts banking on surge in Russians’ love for ice cream in 2021

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MOSCOW, May 4. / TASS /. The amount of ice cream consumption in Russia by the end of 2021 will climb 1%, to 3.1 kg per person, setting a decade-long record, the Center for Industry Expertise of the Russian Agricultural Bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The volume of ice cream consumption in Russia at the end of the current year will increase by 1%, to a record over the past 10 years, that is, 448,000 tonnes or 3.1 kg per capita. The jump in consumption would be a continuation of the gradual increase in demand over the past 10 years. Given the cold Russian climate and the seasonal aspect of ice cream consumption, a further increase in export volumes may become a growth point for Russian producers,” experts say.

In 2020, 451,000 tonnes of the frozen dessert was produced in Russia, an 8% increase year-on-year. At the end of 2021, experts from the Russian Agricultural Bank anticipate a further increase in the indicator by 3%, to 463,000 tonnes. Furthermore, the export of Russian ice cream continues to gain momentum, having climbed more than 8 times over the past 10 years from 3,000 tonnes in 2010 to 26,000 tonnes in 2020.

By the end of 2021, this figure is expected to grow by another 15%, to a record 30,000 tonnes. The main volume of ice cream produced in the country is used to satisfy domestic demand. Last year, Russians gobbled down 444,000 tonnes of the frozen dessert, an 9% increase year-on-year or 3 kg per person. In 2020, due to falling sales in kiosks, parks and cafes, which traditionally account for a significant share of sales, online sales of ice cream, as well as sales of formats for companies, increased, experts noted. Over the next few years, analysts expect an increase in the demand for healthy ice cream, for example low-calorie brands.

The volume of ice cream imports to Russia in 2021 is expected to decrease by 20%, to 15,000 tonnes against 19,000 tonnes a year earlier. The dynamics of consumption of imported ice cream is influenced by the fluctuations in the exchange rate and the introduction of ice cream labeling, which becomes mandatory from the middle of this year, experts point out. “We believe that this opens up additional opportunities for domestic producers to replenish those volumes of imported products that may fall out of consumption due to foreign companies’ adaptation to the new economic and regulatory conditions,” said Andrey Dalnov who heads the Center for Energy Management.

Ice Cream Export

Over the next few years, the volume of ice cream exports will grow by an average of 5-10% per year amid support from domestic producers and interest in Russian ice cream abroad, according to the experts. Russian manufacturers are using the potential of Soviet recipes, which is sustained by demand from the CIS countries at a stable level. The main buyer of Russian ice cream on the international market is Kazakhstan, which in 2020 boosted the volume of imports by 27%, to 11,200 tonnes, and in monetary terms by 2%, to $20 mln. The United States moved up along the list of importers of Russian ice cream, which over the year saw supplies more than triple to 3,800 tonnes or $9.2 mln.