“Magnit”, "Pyaterochka" and "Auchan", Russian biggest food retailers, face lack of Halal products. These are the results of consumers’ opinion survey conducted by the organizers of Moscow Halal Expo 2016, which will be held in the beginning of June in Moscow. The survey involved over 6000 people.
Today in Russia Halal products take up to 10% (meat market) and 17% (the poultry market) in the food sector. The production of halal products continues to grow thanks to high popularity among consumers because of taste and environmental friendliness, and due to the expansion of Russian exports of halal products to the Middle East. However, consumers of Russian grocery retail chains are still experiencing a shortage of halal products. Besides, most sharply this lack of halal products is felt in retailers " Magnit" (24% of respondents), "Perekrestok" (20,5%) and “Auchan” (17.4 %). Halal products in the most popular retailer "the Magnet" are wished to be seen by the inhabitants of Astrakhan, Bashkortostan, Volgograd, Kazan, Krasnodar, Kursk, Moscow region, Murmansk region, Nizhny Novgorod region, Saratov, Stavropol, Tambov, Tomsk, Ukhta and Chelyabinsk. Thus, many respondents noted that in some retail chains, in particular, in "Auchan" there are halal food products but not in a rather wide range.
The retailer "Lenta" (5,6% of respondents) takes the forth place. In particular, consumers from Astrakhan, Irkutsk region, Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo, Novokuznetsk, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Ufa separately noted that they would like to purchase Halal in the chain "Lenta". Thus, residents of Siberian cities noted that in the shop there are some items of halal products (paste, meat dumplings, stuffed pancakes), but it's not enough for complete nutrition.
The costumer of "Lenta" retail chain from Tomsk Ekaterina Osinenko notes: "In Tomsk we have only Metro, Lenta and Magnet from the above-mentioned shops. I do not happen to go to the last one, while “Lenta” is quite a popular variant for me. But from halal products there are only expensive paste, mayonnaise and sometimes dumplings, which I don't eat; there is also halal cocoa but with Polish certification. Now in our town in almost all major local chains there is also halal canned meat. In one place I take Malaysian halal desserts - jellies and puddings on agar-agar, but there aren’t such in “Lenta”. In Tomsk we have the most stores of local network of companies "Lama", although, they have their own production. And of Siberian group of companies - "Holiday" and "Maria-RA". I would like to go after work to the nearest market and buy without going through the city in shops near mosques."
Further, according to the survey, these retailers lacking halal food are the following - "Metro" and "Dixie" (4,6%) and "Perekrestok" (X5 Retail Group) (4.4%). The survey also contains "Karusel" (3.8 %), "Azbuka Vkusa" (3.1%). Consumers also mentioned the chain "Billa", "7 Continent", "Hyper Globus", "ATAK", "SPAR " and "OKAY".
Survey participants are the users of social networks Vkontakte and Facebook from different regions of Russia. Many of them highlight that in order to buy halal products they have to go to the other end of the city, and if the desired product was close to home, it would be much more comfortable.
Maryam Batdieva shares her difficulties: "It is difficult for my family who live in Stavropol and Pyatigorsk, and we ourselves have to go around so many shops, when we go there to find halal food.”
Esmira Abdulkerimova from Saratov indicates lack of range of products provided. “In the nearest stores there is no halal products at all. These are stores such as "Magnit", "Semya", "Gvozd". "Okay" shop provides only chicken, but I would like to see also chicken fillets, drumsticks, breast, meat."
The user of VK Sofia Kirillova notes: "There are not enough halal products in Novokuznetsk! We are waiting and suffering".
And some residents have to travel for halal products in the neighbouring region: "There are no halal products in Vladikavkaz. We have to go to Ingushetia to buy meat and it is not always convenient," notes Maryam Gamzatova.
Consumers also highlighted the names of regional retail chains in which they would like to see halal products. Among them - "Dair" (Astrakhan), "Semya "(Murmansk region), "Semeyniy" and "Gvozd" (Saratov), "Sabantuy" and "Matritsa" (Bashkortostan), "Raikhan" (Tatarstan), "Lama" (Tomsk), "Salata", "Udacha" (Irkutsk), "Europa" (Kursk), "Tabris" (Krasnodar), "Gulliver" (Ulyanovsk), "Big C" (Krasnoyarsk), "Fresh 25" (Primorsky Krai).
The residents of Crimea and some cities in Ukraine and Kazakhstan also note the severe shortage of halal products. Thus, the survey participant from the social network Vkontakte from Pavlodar writes: "There is no halal products in any store. We are suffering. We come to the shop, but there is nothing to take ... Even all bakery products contain margarine. And cakes contain wine and brandy. We don't see halal cheese also "
In fact, there are halal products in a number of national retailers, but a costumer does not always know about it, as he is not used to see halal products on the counter. "If the store organizes a shelf or section of "Halal", as does, in particular, "Auchan" in the meat section, it would be much easier for a costumer", - says Muhammad Skogorev, Director of Moscow Halal Expo, - "At the same time, many manufacturers do not always mark their products with the "Halal" label, although it has a halal certificate. For example, the company "Ecole" and "Damate".
The situation is commented by Mr. Andrey Zhuravlev, the representative of the trading retail chain "Bahetle", head of the Department of Import: "Halal products definitely have great prospects for the food market, and we see positive growth in this category. In shops "Bahetle" there are halal products from 17 Russian suppliers, also we import halal pasta from Italy from the Manufacturer Agroalimentare De Matties. However, the proposal of halal products is limited in such categories as dairy products (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese), confectionery (chocolate, candy)".
The representative of the food chain "Bahetle" also said that not more that 70% of the buyers of the halal products are Muslims: "Many of our Customers perceive halal products not as a religious product, but as an extra guarantee of quality."
According to Andrey Zhuravlyov, the consolidation of producers could contribute to the market development: "The development and promotion on the market not of certain goods, but the overall vision and direction is necessary. All this in my opinion will allow halal production to develop actively in the Russian market "
The organizers of Moscow Halal Expo 2016, which will be held from 2 to 5 June at Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention centre, invite representatives of trade retail chains to establish contacts with manufacturers. Leading Russian and foreign producers of chicken and beef, as well as semi-finished products, confectionery and canned products corresponding to the requirements of the standard "Halal" will attend the segment of food products in the Exhibition. The Exhibition will also host Moscow Halal Economy Forum, in which 2 June at a session on trade issues manufacturers and buyers will discuss opportunities for expanding the supply of halal products in the chains and retail stores.