“This is the most interesting market in terms of consumption. The average annual growth rate over the past three years has amounted to 7% that is even higher compared to the annual growth rate 10 years ago,” he said.
Currently, Russia produces around 800 thousand tons of classic cheeses per year. The total cheese consumption per capita stands at 6.8 kg whereof 6.5 kg account for cheese, and the rest accounts for cheese products.
“Why do I believe that the cheese market has a good potential for further growth? In fact, a 6.8 kg consumption rate is very low compared to the 18.4 kg consumption rate in the EU. At the same time, in France, cheese consumption is significantly higher and reaches 30 kg,” said Artem Belov.
Some investors see a potential in the development of the cheese sector - every fifth ruble has been flowed into the sector. “If back in 2012-2013 the investments in cheese production were at zero, then in the last three to four years we have been seeing increasing investments in the sector. In 2018, investments amounted to 15 billion rubles whereas in 2020, they exceeded the 20 billion mark,” said Artem Belov. Since 2012 the total volume of investments in the sector has amounted to 60 billion rubles.
Planned investments in the sector in the coming years will enhance production capacity of semi-hard and soft cheeses in the country to 150 thousand tons accounting to nearly a quarter of the current production volume.