GAIN REPORT: Russian Federation. Food Service - Hotel Restaurant Institutional. HRI Food Service Sector

The popularity of coffeehouses among urban consumers in the largest Russian cities is great and growing. Before the crisis, the coffeehouse business in Russia showed impressive average annual growth of 136% in value terms. According to InFOLIO Research Group value of the coffee shop market will reach 6.73 billion rubles in 2012 (14% increase in comparison to 2011).

According to InFOLIO Research Group, currently there are about 5200 coffeehouses in Russia. About 1340 coffee outlets are managed by more than 80 chain operators. Most coffeehouses are concentrated in Moscow – about 670, and in St. Petersburg - about 470 coffeehouses. In Moscow each third coffeehouse belongs to Shokoladnitsa and each fifth belongs to Coffee House. There is an increasingly high concentration of the leading chains, including Shokoladnitsa, Coffee House, Starbucks, McCafé, and Costa Coffee in these cities, so in the short term many coffeehouse chains plan to expand into the Russian provinces. Non-chain coffee shops are significantly less common. The rapid development of modern hypermarkets, trade centers, shopping malls, and business centers is helping leading chains, more so than independents, to enter regional markets.

The leading coffee-shop chain Shokoladnitsa, which celebrated its 10th anniversary at the beginning of 2011, has already opened outlets not only in Moscow (where there are around 200 establishments under the brand) and St. Petersburg, but also in Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, Kazan, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Tyumen and Chita, as well as abroad: in Yerevan, in Almaty and in three cities of Ukraine. Moreover, at the moment it focuses on regional expansion to the far eastern region of Russia.

Two coffee-shop chains leaders, Shokoladnitsa and Coffee House, together own about 750 outlets and have value shares of 7% and 5% respectively. Shokoladnitsa is closer to an Italian type of café with a cozy interior, while Coffee House is a more American-style coffee shop, with the décor being airy and uncomplicated. As a result, the clientele differs: Coffee House is preferred by consumers under 30, while Shokoladnitsa is favored by a more mature audience. Most of the Coffee House and Shokoladnitsa outlets are located in the food courts of new shopping malls and business centers.

Local chains such as Traveler's Coffee in Novosibirsk, Kofeynya No. 7 in Yekaterinburg, and Pit’ cafe in Rostov-on-Don have strengthened their competitive positions in local markets. Currently the Traveler’s Coffee brand name is used by about twenty franchises in different Russian cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In 2007, two leading multinational coffee shop chains appeared on the Russian market, adopting different development strategies. The world leader, Starbucks Coffee Company, opened its first outlet in Moscow in September 2007 and currently is number three by coffee sales after Shokoladnitsa and Coffee House. In December 2012, Starbucks finally opened its first coffeehouse in St. Petersburg and currently operates 64 coffee shops in Russia, 61 of which are in the capital. Following Starbucks, Whitbread and Rosinter Restaurants Holding signed a joint-venture agreement and announced their intention to launch the Costa Coffee chain in Russia. Costa Coffee outlets are not only concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg but also in other Russian regions. The appearance of these leading multinational coffee chains on the Russian market has changed the position of the coffee shop segment. Table 9 shows the growth of Russia’s coffee shop chains.

The typical Russian coffee shop format differs from Western standards because Russian consumers prefer a larger assortment of drinks and food items. According to industry sources, coffee accounts for only 40 percent of those for Coffee House and 15 percent for Shokoladnitsa. Coffee shops in Russia constantly increase their non-coffee selections to include alcoholic drinks, dairy cocktails, salads, hot dishes, desserts, and tea. The average bill at one of these coffee shops is between $15 and $25, and drinks average only 30 to 40 percent of the total check. Russian coffee shops that sell a variety of desserts and confectionery products have created a new market for U.S. exporters of desserts, nuts and dried fruit.

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