FMCG marketing and business development strategies in 2020 in Russia

Nielsen Russia survey of CEOs in the FMCG industry: key strategies and tactics for 2020

Nielsen Russia conducted a survey of 61 CEOs in FMCG (both retailers and producers) in April 2020. In this survey, Russian executives outlined their strategies for May-December 2020. In this post, we’re presenting a summary of the survey results. You can read the full text in Russian here.

Development strategies for FMCG businesses in Russia in 2020

Based on the survey results, the main 2 areas of focus in 2020 for the surveyed FMCG businesses are:

  1. Improving their efficiency, and
  2. Investing in new development.

For investing, both retailers and producers plan to develop e-commerce capabilities of their businesses: 62% of FMCG manufacturers and 85% of retailers indicated that this was their priority for 2020.

Marina Volkova, Nielsen Russia Analytics and Consulting Director, believes that as a part of e-commerce capabilities development, Russian FMCG businesses are likely to continue expanding their production, storage, and logistics capabilities (for additional information on the logistics market, you can read this Russian Search Marketing post, or work on more small-scale improvements, for example, expanding their networks of lockers.

Launches of new FMCG products in Russia in 2020

As for launching new products, CEO plans for 2020 are as follows:

  • No changes to previously developed launch strategies: 44%
  • Changes to previously developed launch strategies based on new trends: 19%
  • Launch of products in new categories: 13%
  • No new launches in 2020: 10%
  • Postponement of launches until the second half of 2020: 6%
  • Other: 8%
Plans for launches of new FMCG products in Russia in 2020

Plans for launches of new FMCG products in Russia in 2020. Source: Nielsen Russia

FMCG in Russia: primary areas of focus

According to the survey results, in 2020 FMCG retailers and manufacturers plan to focus on the following areas:

  • developing e-commerce capabilities: 97%
  • digital transformation: 97%
  • supply chain optimization: 96%
  • marketing communications: 86%
  • launching new products: 86%
  • developing human capital: 80%
  • running promotions: 78%
Primary areas of focus for FMCG companies in Russia in 2020

Primary areas of focus for FMCG companies in Russia in 2020. Source: Nielsen Russia

In terms of online marketing, 46% of respondents plan to increase their budgets for advertising on social media, and 37% plan to invest in online ads. In a webinar on FMCG trends in Russia (you can watch it in Russian here), Nielsen Russia experts highlight another growing online marketing channel: selling on social media.

According to eMarketer data, the number of social buyers grew from 9.6% to 15.6% of Russia’s population in 2019-2020, and their forecast puts the number of Russians buying through social media in 2023 at 23.7%.


Social buyers in Russia, 2019-2023

Social buyers in Russia, 2019-2023. Source: eMarketer


Similarly, the number of digital buyers in Russia are also expected to grow.

Digital buyers in Russia, 2020-2024

Digital buyers in Russia, 2020-2024. Source: eMarketer

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