MOSCOW: Consumers in Russia are influenced by factors including convenience, innovation and value when buying products in the FMCG category, new research has revealed.

Nielsen, the insights provider, reported that overall FMCG sales rose by 11% in the fast-growing economy last year. This increase aided by the fact that middle class shoppers now make up a quarter of the population.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets take 35% of food value sales in Russia at present, versus 22% for minimarkets and 19% for traditional outlets, with organised channels seeing the most growth here.

The amount of minimarkets also rose by 10% in the country in 2011, and considerable potential space remains in big cities. Supermarkets and hypermarkets saw 8% growth each, similarly indicating a shift to modern formats.

Indeed, while traditional outlets still dominate in terms of numbers – with more than 120,000 open across the country – minimarkets, on around 18,000 branches, can already claim a higher share of value returns.

Elsewhere, Nielsen's data covering Moscow showed 53% of shoppers favoured making "quick" trips to stores, whereas 27% preferred "stocking up". Some 67% of this group were "highly influenced" by shops selling products other than food.

In all, trade and media promotions drove 53% of food sales and 44% of drug sales in 2011, both double-digit increases year on year.

Nielsen added that half of customers only choose a brand at the point of purchase, meaning this arena is "critical".

More specifically, media promotions played a role in 19% of food acquisitions in 2011, compared with 14% for in-store displays and 13% for temporary price reductions.

Innovation also holds potential, as 88% of Russians are keen to try new products. However, while the amount of FMCG lines launched in core categories rose by 19% in 2011, over the last three years just 20% of introductions have attained a market share of 0.5% or more.

Looking online, Nielsen stated that 22% of Russian web users, currently numbering 51m people from a potential audience of 100m, research purchases online.

It further reported that 10% of the country's urban internet population, or 3.6m shoppers, buy FMCG items on the web each month. Some 58% of this group are men and 71% are aged 18-30 years old.

The advantages of ordering online cited by this group included saving time on 51%, convenient delivery options on 48% and lower prices on 47%.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff