In June, 2013 Mix Research Company made a marketing research to trace bakery consumer tastes as well as to investigate consumer’s quality perception of the baked goods and buying trends among residents of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
The staff of life
Bred and other baked products constitute a fundamental part of everyday food consumption. Analysis of the baked product purchasing frequency shows that almost the third of the respondents buys bread every day. But as a rule, majority buys bread 2-3 times a week. Moscow citizens of a preretirement age (45 – 54) feature less active approach to the purchasing of baked products than people of other age groups – as few as 26 percent of the respondents of this age prefer to have new bread every day. In St Petersburg the lowest purchasing intensity is fixed among young adults (18-24): those who buy bread almost every day make up 20 percent of respondents, those who buy 2-3 times a week – 43 percent.
Chain groceries appear to be main points of the baked products purchase. Herewith, the respondents at the age of 25-34 have the strongest shopping index in this segment in the both cities. Consumers at the age of 45-54 prefer the so-called ‘corner stores’. In Moscow brand stores of manufacturers are chosen mostly by elder buyers (55 – 60 years old). 25 percent of all the respondents buy new bread from these sales points. The baked goods produced by private bakeries are almost equally popular among young adults (18-24) in Moscow and St Petersburg.
All bread is not baked in one oven
Market players are significantly widening the baked products range, striving to produce high-quality goods and consider the customer’s needs at the same time. Supermarkets, for example, undertake to launch the in-store mini-bakeries. Ashan is chosen by the majority of Moscow citizens among in-store supermarket and hypermarket bakeries. Herewith, men prefer these hypermarket’s bakeries more often than women. The baked products favored by the most of the respondents in St Petersburg are produced by O’KEY Hypermarket Chain. The second place among the most attractive in-store bakeries is given to Perekrestok Supermarket Chain (18 percent) in Moscow and to Lenta Supermarket Chain in St Petersburg (29%). The Moscow Big Three is rounded by Viktoria Supermarket (10%) with a wide chain in the capital of Russia and Moscow Region, while St Petersburg customers choose Karusel Supermarket (11 percent).
It should be noted that the current marketing situation do not provide conditions for chain hypermarket in-house products to replace the goods produced by major manufacturers who offer less expensive mass-market range of baked products. In the capital of the RF, for instance, the so-called bread factories still have a sizeable reputation earned at the Soviet period.
It explains appreciation paid to Schelkovsky and Kolomensky Bread Factories’ products by Moscow Region citizens. Familiar taste and quality provided by these manufacturers are recognized by the respondents at the age of 35-44. As stated earlier, young adults (18-24) are less particular about sales points and manufacturers of the baked goods – and have poor variations of tastes. They designate Cheremushkinsky Bread Baking Complex as a preferable manufacturer (15 percent of the respondents). Elder consumers keep loyalty to Bread Factory No 22 launched in 1969. Owing to certain local specific features of the baked goods manufacturers the St Petersburg market features absolutely different rivalry: consumers here seem to be favoring brands of Khlebny Dom (Bread House) by Fazer and Karavay (Round Loaf). Herewith, Fazer products are more popular among St Petersburg citizen of 25-34, while elder people (55-60) prefer Karavay products. The young adults (18 – 24) find it the most difficult to name the manufacturer of the most tasteful and qualitative products: more than a half of the respondents of this age group (64%) fail to distinguish any company.
Not By Bread Alone
The contemporary bakery market can be divided into two segments:
mass-market baked products that constitute the major proportion of the bakers’ range;
-unconventional baked products, such as low-cal bread, various kinds of flavored bread and puff pastry.
Overall, conventional baked goods are the extremely sought-after products, especially among women and young adults (18 – 24).
The price has ceased to be the main purchasing driver influencing the customers. The strongest motives for consumption of the conventional baked products are their taste and long-termed consumer habit. It should be noted that baked product purchasing by the both cities’ inhabitants of 25-34 is reasoned by customary practice while elder customers are driven by their own taste preferences. The interesting point here is that the price and other family members’ loyalty to a certain product are not considered by such customers as dominating purchasing drivers.
The major baked product purchasing driver is undoubtedly taste preference. Furthermore, most of the respondents adhere to the opinion that these goods are of a healthier profile.
The main reason for refusal to buy is a lack of a long-termed habit. An average customer scarcely knows the product range, hesitates about tasting or considers certain ingredients incompatible with bread. Buying incentive measures as well as taste tests may contribute to raise buyers’ interest. The lack of the specific taste and poor range of the product in sales points can also serve as reasons for refuse to buy unconventional baked products.
Among the full diversity of unconventional baked products the most popular is a whole-grain bread with seeds – it is chosen by more than a half of the respondents both in St Petersburg and in Moscow. This sort of products is usually bought by women and elder people.
The contemporary bakery industry has been shifting from one challenging task set for the manufacturers to another for a certain time. To compete successfully at this market it is not enough to produce mass variety baked products anymore; one should diversify its range of products with an emphasis on the quality following tailor-made marketing strategy based on the customer tastes.