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Russian manufacturers should target dairy-hungry over 55s: Canadean

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By Mark Astley+

Last updated on 22-Jul-2014 at 16:14 GMT

Russian manufacturers should target dairy-hungry over 55s: Canadean

Russian dairies are overlooking the opportunities that lie with older consumers, who eat traditional products such as kefir out of habit rather than for reasons of health or aging.

In its latest report, Understanding Consumer Trends and Drivers of Behavior in the Russian Dairy Food Market, Canadean pinpointed kefir, sour cream, and cottage cheese-hungry Russians above the age of 55 as the country's key dairy consumers.

Despite steady demand from this demographic, there is a lack of new products specifically targeted at those over 55, said Canadean.

Instead, Russia dairies are focusing their innovation efforts on young consumers.

"While there are a lot of dairy products targeted at the younger generation, those aged 55 and over constitute the key consumer group," said Canadean.

“Therefore, manufacturers should utilize more explicit marketing to target them. However, they need to be careful about how they target older consumers and focus on enabling active lifestyles rather than around senior consumers’ vulnerabilities.”

Low osteoporosis awareness

The low level of awareness about osteoporosis represents a significant opportunity for Russian dairies to reach these older consumers, said Canadean.

Citing the International Osteoporosis Foundation, Canadean said that just over half of those in Russia with the bone disease know that dairy is the main dietary source of calcium.

Another 36% also believe that dairy causes damage to the elderly, said Canadean.

Russian dairy manufacturers should consider using packaging, advertising and campaigns to educate consumers about osteoporosis and role dairy can play in averting it.

"With careful marketing, manufacturers should encourage older consumers to increase frequency of dairy consumption as a part of healthy and active lifestyle," said Veronika Zhupanova, analyst, Canadean, in a note.

Alongside osteoporosis, Canadean pinpointed vitamin D. 

The population of North Russia, in particular, is at risk of a lack of vitamin D. To counter this, manufacturers should launch dairy products rich in both calcium and vitamin D, said Zhupanova.

"Producers will benefit from launching seasonal editions, providing they educate consumers about the necessity of diet change during winter time," she said.

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