LONDON, England – Beer and vodka consumption in Russia is in danger of declining, as the country’s younger generation snub tradition in favour of a cup of coffee, says The Public Ledger, a leading news, analysis and information source for the global commodities market.
Demand for coffee in the country could double in the next three years amid spiralling consumption from the country’s forward-thinking younger consumers, according to Aziz Narzikulov, chief executive at Sib Coffee in Russia, who has been involved in the roasting and production of coffee for more than a decade.
Narzikulov observed that a new generation in Russia has helped demand increase by over 10% during the past few years.
“Compared with other parts of Europe, Russia still doesn’t drink a lot of coffee. Per capita consumption is around 1.5kg. But in the next three or four years we can easily double this number,” he told The Public Ledger. “But people are lazy so we need to globally advertise its benefits. It’s much easier to bring coffee to people than bring people to coffee.”
In 2010, Russian imports of unroasted coffee grew by 12% to 86,713 tonnes, compared with 77,508 tonnes in 2009 and 65,031 tonnes the year before.
“Coffee is a really good product. If you don’t drink too much of it, it’s healthy. I believe that coffee can change Russian culture. Over the last 15 or 20 years people have mostly been drinking beer. I’ve seen people drink beer on a bus. It’s not normal,” Narzikulov continues. “But back then was a really difficult time for Russia.”
However, consumers’ mentalities are changing. “Young people are thinking in a new way. They don’t want to be bandits. They want to be happy and they like new, modern products. Coffee to them is a symbol of enthusiasm, freedom and democracy. They really like it,” explains Narzikulov. “I am talking about people between 15 and 35 years old. They want to sit in the coffee shop and talk with each other; not go to a party, drink vodka, and then beat each other up.”