Consumer behavior in Russia: new insights

Use these Nielsen Russia insights on consumer behavior to make decisions on how to reach your target audience

Nilesen Russia has published new insights into the consumer behavior of Russians in this post (video in Russian available here). They are based on the consumer behavior of households where at least one household member shops in modern stores in Moscow or Saint Petersburg.

The average family in this segment is a 3-person household with 2 parents aged 35 and 40 and a 2-year-old child. They have a pet. The average household income level is 82K rubles, out of which 25.4K are spent on FMCG products. Women make most of the purchases.

According to the research results, the average family has the following behavioral characteristics:

  • changes stores
  • monitors sales and adjust purchasing behavior to save
  • is ready to pay more for convenience
  • is health-conscious and takes care of their pet’s health
  • shops online
  • sometimes orders food delivered or goes out to eat

In any given month, household members shop in retail shops, pharmacies, pet stores, cosmetics and household chemicals stores, and gas stations, plus visit food service industry establishments.

Consumer behavior in Russia: spending on food and groceries

In this consumer segment, 6 out of 10 households have a budget for food purchases. The most popular way to save on buying groceries is buying when a particular product is on sale.

Household members visit up to 4 different retail shop chains on average. Of these shoppers, 12% choose stores based on currently-running sales.

Shopping visits break down as follows:

  • 32% are for purchases of everyday goods
  • 23% of store visits are for products that the family needs as soon as possible
  • 15% of visits are to buy groceries for the next week or 2 weeks


Spending in cosmetics and household chemicals stores in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Women visit 2–3 stores in this category every month 1 to 3 times per month.

The most popular product categories in cosmetics segment are:

  • mascara
  • shampoo
  • foundation
  • facials
  • eau de toilette

In terms of household chemicals, these are the most popular products:

  • shampoo
  • toothpaste
  • feminine hygiene products
  • toilet paper
  • laundry detergent (powder)

Consumer behavior in Russia: in-store and gas purchases at gas stations

An average household makes 7 visits to a gas station on average, but gas station stores are visited half as often.

An average sale volume is 377 rubles.

When household members do purchase something in the gas station store, they buy beverages: coffee to go or bottled water.


Household purchases in pharmacies: top products

57% of the households visit pharmacies once a month or more often.

The top 5 products are:

  • vitamin supplements
  • decongestants
  • CVD medicines
  • cold and flu medicines
  • painkillers

Most of the over-the-counter medicines are purchased online (same top 5 products).

Consumer behavior in

Russia: spending on pets

Of the households in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, 75% have cats, 45% have dogs, and 37.5% have both. About 50% of the pet owners buy pet products in pet stores twice a week or more on average.

Dog owners tend to spend 1,734 rubles per visit while cat owners spend 1,250 rubles per visit, with 3,636 and 2,808 spent per month respectively.

The top 5 product categories in pet stores are:

  • dog food and treats
  • cat food and treats
  • accessories for dogs
  • veterinary products
  • cat litter

Splurging on going out or ordering food online in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Every second household member visits cafes, restaurants, or bars at least once a month. Forty-two percent of households in the segment order food online at least once a month.

The most popular food establishments are as follows:

  • fast-food chains (86%)
  • cafes (82%)
  • cafeterias (76%)
  • coffee-to-go purchases (66%)
  • cafes specializing in a particular type of food (63%)

Read more about consumer behavior in Russia to make informed advertising choices

Whether your products fall into FMCG or a premium product category, there are strategies to take advantage of Russian consumers’ existing behavior patterns.

This article has some suggestions on how you can benefit from customers’ willingness to pay more for convenience and a list of categories that command premium prices. Read more about the growth of the convenience goods segment in Russia here.

In this article you’ll find several suggestions on how to capitalize on the desire of Russian households to take advantage of sales and discounts.

To learn more about technological transformation among Russian consumers and the industries that benefit the most from Russia’s online shopping boom, read this Russian Search Marketing post. If you are considering entering the Russian market, bear in mind that in addition to using the Internet to order medicines and food delivery online, Russians are among the leaders in cross-border shopping.

Get in touch to find out more about how our team can help you reach Russian consumers.