The Russian market seems to be finally moving out of the trough at least as regards the packaging sectors and related process industries and the plastics and rubber industry. Impressive proof of this has been provided by the two trade fairs upakovka – Processing and Packaging and interplastica, 22nd International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber, which drew to a successful close after four trade fair days on 1 February 2019. 25,000 visitors came to the AO Expocenter in Krasnaja Presnja, Moscow to seek information on the extensive ranges displayed by 950 exhibitors from 32 countries.
After a period of stagnation in 2016 and a -2.8 % recession in 2015, Russia saw a new growth phase start in 2017 with 1.5 % GNP growth. Four years after the sanctions were imposed and the oil price dropped, the Russian economy has adapted to the new circumstances and managed to grow again.
There is a great deal of renewed interest in modern machinery, production plants and high-tech materials. This also especially applies to demand for packaging technologies and plastic processing equipment. To the delight of the exhibiting companies, activities at upakovka and interplastica were therefore not only confined to an exchange of information. Many trade visitors also came with concrete intentions to buy and made their purchasing decisions right on site. This underpins the substantial investment needs that continue to exist in Russia and its neighbouring states.
The presence of numerous foreign exhibitors is evidence of the sustained strong interest taken in the Russian market. “Following some difficult years things are picking up again. Those showing stamina will now be rewarded,” reflects Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO and President of Messe Düsseldorf, drawing a positive conclusion. Very satisfied with the results of the two trade fairs, he goes on to say: “The mood in the halls was excellent, exhibitors reported extremely interested business people who were also prepared to place orders. They capitalised on the unique opportunity here to see the latest developments in world markets and negotiate with suppliers on site.”
Russian Consumers afford More High-Quality Food
As disposable incomes rise in Russia, the propensity to spend is also going up again and more consumers are investing in higher-quality food. In addition to this, nutrition habits are changing: the younger generation, in particular, is increasingly taking to convenience and fast food. Market researchers expect demand for pre-packed food to rise by 4% in total to 28.4 million tons by 2022. Above-average growth rates are predicted especially for breakfast cereals, savoury snacks, convenience food, high-quality chocolate products as well as for sweet pastries and snack bars. Besides this, soft drinks are also becoming more and more popular. Especially in the metropolitan areas Russian consumers are more health conscious. They increasingly take to bottled water as well as functional and enriched beverages. New flavours, low-sugar beverages, smoothies and ready-to-drink teas are becoming trends.
Investment a Duty for Russian Enterprises
To satisfy growing demand and Russian consumers’ rising expectations as to quality, freshness, taste and the shape and look of food and beverages, manufacturing companies have to expand their production capacities further and invest in state-of-the-art processing and packaging technology. And technology made in Germany is rated highly – Germany is Russia’s most important machinery supplier accounting for a quarter of all Russian food machinery and packaging machinery imports. In some industry sectors this figure is markedly higher. Over the first 11 months of 2018 German exports of food/packaging machinery to Russia went up even further reaching a figure of EUR 383 million – an increase of just under 14% over the previous year. German exhibitors at upakovka 2019 expect the high demand for machinery to continue in this current year. Italian companies are also benefiting from the rising demand for packaging technology. The numerous exhibitors from Italy and the Italian Machinery Manufacturers’ Association UCIMA were therefore pleased with their trade fair participation.
Strong Interest in Special Themes
Since upakovka has been held under the umbrella of the interpack alliance the special innovationparc theme adapted from interpack in Düsseldorf has played an important role in Moscow. Due to the avid interest encountered last year, the Forum programme of innovationparc was doubled to comprise two stages with concurrent activities for 2019. The lectures about trend themes in the industry under such headings as “Packaging – Best Practice for Brands and Retailers”, “Packing 4.0: How to Make Your Customers Happy”, “Will Packaging Save or Ruin the Environment?” or “Packaging Technologies in the Beverage Industry” went down extremely well with visitors. The seating tiers and surrounding standing room were always packed. Partnering with the innovationparc were the National Packaging Confederation (NCPack), the German Engineering Association VDMA, the Global Association for Marketing at Retail (POPAI), the Association of Russian Branding Agencies (ARBA) as well as the Russian trade magazine Tara i Upakovka.
SAVE FOOD brings Together Industry, Organisations and Policymakers
SAVE FOOD, the interpack alliance theme organised in cooperation with the World Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), made for an important session within the innovationparc programme. The session, opened by Thomas Stenzel, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf Moscow, and Agashi Harutynyan, Head of the Moscow FAO Office, addressed the question: “What Does it Cost to Save Food?” The first part shed some light on the indirect consequences of food losses and waste and on examples for addressing the problem. Speakers included agents from Russian organisations representing consumer interests, retail and the food industry as well as non-profit organisations such as the Russian Food Bank. The second part of the session dealt with the positive economic, social and ecological effects of reduced food waste and losses. Speakers here included high-calibre personalities from the political sphere, such as diplomats from France and Australia, EU representatives as well as Norwegian and Dutch ministerial staff.
“The fact that the interest taken in innovationparc has grown yet again proves that the trend themes of the interpack alliance are not only of paramount importance at the flagship trade fair in Düsseldorf but also in such growth markets as Russia, thereby offering the suppliers of modern solutions numerous opportunities for tapping into enormous market potential,” says Jablonowski, Global Portfolio Director of Processing & Packaging at Messe Düsseldorf. At the forthcoming upakovka 2020 innovationparc will focus on the Russian trend theme of beverages – specifically soft drinks as well as healthy functional beverages.
The next upakovka in Moscow will be held from 28 to 31 January 2020 – again in parallel with interplastica. For more information go to www.upakovka-tradefair.com or contact Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Ms Irina Rak, +49(0)211/4560-473 or by e-mail at [email protected].