BY VERONIKA ZHUPANOVA
CONSUMER ANALYST, GLOBALDATA
Despite potential for growth in Russia’s ice cream market, a significant number of new launches feature similar flavours, with brands focusing solely on quality rather than featuring novelty in their formulations.
According to GlobalData research, in 2016 the desire for novel and fun experiences in ice cream motivated over a fifth of Russian ice cream consumption volume (21.1%), which is a higher proportion than the desire for quality (16.3%). Whilst quality remains important, this highlights the fact that ice cream brands need to pay more attention to novel flavours. Emphasising novel formulation methods and experimental attributes such as unusual flavours and textures will be effective here. Bolder packaging artwork and designs will also aid in drawing experimental consumers’ attention to new products.
Functional benefits will take a share from other categories
Khladokombinat No3 targets busy Russian consumers with ice cream that contains coffee, providing consumers with an enjoyable treat that also provides an energy boost. The packaging design mimics a takeaway coffee cup, clearly communicating its on-the-go nature and the category it aims to steal occasions from. The launch is a cross-over between a treat and an energising beverage, resulting in a functional product targeting busy metropolitan consumers.
The product is distinctive as it offers an indulgent caffeine dose during hot summers, when consumers might be reluctant to opt for hot beverages. Moreover, it allows manufacturers to expand their sales by taking a share of occasions from chilled caffeinated soft drinks, such as energy drinks and colas. The new launch contains only 100kcal per serving, fewer than in a standard serving of non-light energy or carbonated drinks. This enhances its perceived health benefits and suitability for more frequent consumption than competing products. To continue attracting consumer attention, and grow the products occasion base further, the manufacturer should continue exploring functionality such as enhancing the probiotic or protein content, taking consumption occasions from yogurts and post-workout milk and whey shakes.
Formulation innovation will help to create new consumption occasions
Belarusian manufacturer Mogilevskaya Fabrika Morozhenogo has launched ice cream with cold Eastern European winters in mind. Despite ice cream being a seasonal product with sales peaking during summer months, the manufacturer has decided to target consumers looking for indulgence during winter. The product is described as a ‘warm’ ice cream that will not melt if left outside the fridge-freezer, and can be warmed in a microwave. The product claims that the texture improves when warmed up, acquiring ‘a delicate texture that resembles soufflé’. The winter-themed packaging design reinforces the consumption occasion the item is targeting.
Novel packaging and positioning will help brands cut through the noise
To stand out from the crowd, distinct positioning through the use of bold and novel packaging designs will be effective. As current packaging designs present in the Russian market are focused mainly around taste and quality, utilising bold and striking packaging designs will allow products to stand out and cut through the noise. In an attempt to capitalise on this, Russia-based Belgorodskiy Khladokombinat has rolled out an ice cream family under the Funky brand.
The launch is offered in three varieties – prune Papa; coffee Arabica extract Mama; and bubble-gum flavoured Son. While the first two varieties will appeal to older audiences, the ‘Son’ variety clearly targets the younger generation, which makes the line suitable for family sharing. The packaging features not only eye-catching images and print, but also an interesting paperboard construction with separable top and bottom parts to keep hands clean if the ice cream starts to melt. The producer aims to use a combination of novel flavours, quirky and stylish packaging, and a focus on shared experiences to attract the attention of consumers and make the brand stand out among competition.
Flavour and texture innovation tap into consumer desire for novelty
Kompaniya Eskimos has offered a new Taiga-brand line of ice cream. The brand gets its name from the name of large coniferous forests, so featured flavours include relevant ingredients such as pine cone. In addition to featuring novel ingredients, the product aims to engage consumers though packaging claims enhancing its better-for-you perception. For example, the item is tagged as benefitting consumers’ immune systems and featuring a range of vitamins, including A, B and E, with both claims enhancing the perception that the product is nutritious.
The packaging also claims that pine cone is a known ingredient of traditional medicines. However, manufacturers need to remember that the desire for fun experiences is much more important than the need for health-aligned properties when looking at ice cream in Russia, and should leave ‘better-for-you’ claims secondary to novel and exciting formulations.
Another example of novelty in taste sensations is Zubastik Kukuruzik from Belgorodskiy Khladokombinat. The unique feature of the product is glazing with popcorn. This product clearly targets the younger generation, as evident from bright simple packaging featuring a fun character, and smaller-sized 50g offerings.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020