Children's nutrition is a product with constant high requirements. According to the proverb, “children need all the best”, so food for children should satisfy the highest criteria of quality and usefulness. Russian market has quite a good assortment, offering different kinds and tastes of children's nutrition for their parents.
Children's nutrition market in Russia is developing quickly, with new manufacturers appearing. But they always face high competition. At the same time, consolidation of the market players is seen. 86.8% of the market belong to top five players, with almost a half of total volume belonging to top two manufacturers, which are Nestle and Danone-Unimilk.
We can see both national and imported production on the Russian children's nutrition market. Among foreign companies, there are some having their local manufacturing inside the country:
Nestle (Nestle Russia);
Danone-Unimilk company group (10 companies);
The total imports volume to Russia has reached nearly 50 thousand tons in 2013, which is more than 324 million dollars in money terms. Slovakia and Netherlands are the main importers, with their common share of 38.24% in natural terms. In money terms, the share of these two countries is 43.62%. Switzerland holds the third position, being far beyond with the share of 8.59% in natural terms and 9.59% in money terms. The main manufacturers of production which is imported to Russia are Switzerland and Netherlands. These two countries hold the share of 47.95% of all imports in natural terms.
Imported production from Netherlands has the highest price, the lowest one belongs to production from Spain. The average price per kilo is USD 6.5. It's worth noticing that the cheapest products for children's nutrition among the ones imported to Russia are produced in Chad, with the price of USD 3.13 per kilo. The most expensive production is made in New Zealand, costing USD 24.58 per kilo.
Nestle is the leader among companies importing children's nutrition with the import share of 37% in natural terms and 40% in money terms. Nutricia and Wimm-Bill-Dann are also among the top three. It's also worth noticing that FRISO, holding the sixth position in imports volume in natural terms, is the third in money terms with the share of 9%. The most expensive imported children's nutrition is produced by Nanny, the cheapest one is produced by Bebivita.
Despite the fact that Russian food market is changing now due to the economic sanctions, the chidren's nutrition branch and external trade haven't suffered from sanctions in any way. Children's nutrition wasn't included into the list of products which were banned in the Russian imports.
Its total exports volume from the Russian Federation in 2013 has reached nearly 9 thousand tons, which is equal to nearly USD 48 million in money terms. Ukraine was the main exporter of production in 2013. The share of this country has reached 48% in natural terms and 41% in money terms. The significant export share belonged to Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan held the third position.
The highest export price is to Armenia, the lowest one is to Mongolia. The average price per one kilo of exports is reaching USD 5.34. Nutricia is the main exports manufacturer, with the share of 33.5% in natural terms and 37.5% in money terms. Among the top three, there are also Nutrilak and Nestle. The most expensive production is exported by Similac, with the price of USD 10.42 per kilo.
Children's nutrition consumption level in Russia is still lower than in Europe, but during the last few years it is growing constantly. In the past, kids were fed by children's nutrition until they were one year old, but now it is given for children aged three and even older. This trend has several reasons. The first one is people's growing occupation. Parents don't always have time to prepare homemade food for their children due to work and some additional occupation. The other reason is the fact that children's nutrition is given due to medical prescriptions. Thus, in the case of some health problems children's doctors advice to feed a child with mono-products, for example, with one-component purees. This factor explains one of the Russian market specifics – the increased demand in one-component nutrition.
There are many factors having influence on customers' choice. Among the main ones, there are age recommendations, lack of preservatives and flavours,enrichment with vitamins and minerals, the trade mark's image, assortment broadness and prices.
During the last few years, children's nutrition consumption for children under three years old has grown and become more common. Here, there are such products as cookies, flavoured curd, special children's tea and drinking water. Costs for children's nutrition take the leading position in the structure of costs for children from 0 to 36 months.
About 120 rubles are spent averagely in Russia when buying children;s nutrition once. In the capitals, the average cheque is bigger and is about 214 rubles. At the same time, such purchases in Moscow are made more often (about seven times a month), that is why the capital's market is the most attractive for manufacturers.
The best brands of children's nutrition according to the consumers' survey were Humana (DMK), Tema (Unimilk), Heinz дfor children(Heinz). Among the top five, there are also Friso (FrieslandCampina) and Babushkino Lukoshko (Sivma). According to the web analysis of queries made by Step by Step company group in April 2013, the most popular brand in Russia as Malutka (19.5% from the top five popular brands).
Children's nutrition advertisement is worth noticing as well. Its specific depends much on limits by Russian law and international recommendations, and also with companies' self-limits for children's goods advertisement. Thus, the manufacturer must infrom the customer about the age prescriptions, the necessity in professional consultation and notice the priority of breastfeeding. Breast milk substitutes advertisement and comparing infant formula to mother's milk are totally forbidden.
The instruments which are the most widely-often used among children's nutrition manufacturers are printed advertisements in special published editions for parents and advertisements in children's doctors' cabinets. TV clips and billboards are less used than in other branches of children's goods.