There is bad news for Russians with a sweet tooth.
Russian imports of cookies and other baked goods plunged 67% in the first four months of this year compared to, according to the Moscow Times.
Imports fell to just 5,900 tons between January and April, compared to 18,200 tons in the same period last year, according to market analysts at the Center for Confectionery Market Research.
This plunge is primarily due to “the faster price growth on imported baked goods thanks to ruble devaluation and in general, the reduction of [Russian’s] purchasing power,” the CEO of the center Yelizaveta Nikitina stated.
The Russian economy has been badly bruised over the last year following Western sanctions, a ban on Western food imports, the ruble’s plunge in late 2014, and double-digit inflation.
And all of these economic problems have claimed their victim: the average Russian consumer.
As Morgan Stanley highlighted recently, “The consumer crisis in 2015 will be much harsher than 2009, with consumer stagnation lasting well into 2016. We haven’t been surprised that consumers are feeling the squeeze but we are surprised by the magnitude of it.”
There have been lots of micro-signs showing how much Russian consumers are suffering, aside from the cookies. For example, the price of cabbage is up 97% in just under a year and some Russians are switching from flower gardens to vegetable gardens.
In fact, things have gotten so bad for regular Russians that the government is considering price caps on “essential food products.“
Politics aside, it’s pretty sad when you can no longer find your favourite cookies at the supermarket.