Tatarstan leads most regions in hard liquor sales —

Alcohol market experts explained why the growth of official sales of hard liquor in Tatarstan is good and forecast whether prices will continue to rise

Retail sales of hard liquor in Tatarstan continue to grow, outpacing most other Russian regions. According to the Federal Alcohol Regulatory Service of the Russian Federation, almost one million dekaliters of hard drinks were sold in all retail chains of the republic in the third quarter of 2021. This is the fourth result among 85 Russian regions, only Moscow, St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg and Moscow Oblast are ahead. Moreover, there is a positive point to this: “They drink about the same throughout Russia, but only regions with strong vodka – Tatarstan and Bashkortostan – drink legal alcohol”, says Vadim Drobiz, director of the Center for Research on Federal and Regional Authorities. Liquor Markets (CIFRRA). From December 15, retail prices for all types of alcohol could increase by 5% to 15%, he predicts.

How Tatarstan surpasses the top five ‘vodka’ regions

Rosalkogolregulirovanie regularly publishes quarterly reports on retail sales of alcoholic beverages in all regions of Russia. They contain exclusively “in-store” sales of strong alcohol, which are automatically passed on to the EGAIS system, but at the same time “cleared” of HoReCa (alcohol sales in bars and restaurants). For this reason, the retail section of the Rosalkogolregulirovanie is considered a marker of alcohol consumption among the population in different regions of the country.

It turned out that Tatarstan regained its leadership in strong alcohol sales in 85 regions, with the exception of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Moscow Oblast. According to the latest Rosalkogolregulirovanie report, 906.8 thousand dekaliters were sold throughout the republic’s retail network in the third quarter of 2021, which is 10% more than a year ago. As a result, Tatarstan accounts for 3.5% of all Russia’s alcohol sales. It is possible that in the next quarter of the new year, retail sales will approach the pre-pandemic “degree”, when retail chains sold 930-950,000 decalitres per quarter.

There are traditionally established “vodka” regions in Russia. Krasnodar Krai is slightly lower than Tatarstan in their list, being 2nd. 899.1 thousand dekaliters of strong alcoholic beverages were purchased here, which is almost 15% more than last year (794,000 dekaliters), follows from the report of Rosalkogolregulirovanie. This region accounts for 3.32% of the all-Russian market.

It is followed by Sverdlovsk Oblast (3.2%) and Bashkortostan (2.9%). Retail sales in Sverdlovsk Obalst reached 865,800 dekaliters against 812,200 for the same period last year, and in Bashkiria – up to 801,000 against 760,000 dekaliters (all data refer to the third quarter of 2021 – ed. ) .

Nizhny Novgorod Oblast completes the top six “alcohol favourites”, which accounts for 2.4% of the market, or 656,000 decalitres. According to alcohol distributors, it is in these regions (excluding megalopolises) that alcohol markets are trying to establish themselves in order to intensify the supply of a wide range of alcohols. In other regions, retail sales vary from 300 to 600,000 decalitres per quarter.

Residents of Tatarstan began to drink less vodka

By the way, about manufacturers from Tatarstan. Against the background of growing demand, Tatspirtprom increased production. According to the company’s press service, 6.3 million dal of alcoholic beverages were produced in the first 9 months of the year, including 5.57 million dal for vodka. At the same time, the pace of implementation is synchronous with production. According to Tatspirtprom’s press service, 6.2 million dal of drinks have been sold since the beginning of the year, of which 5.4 million dal is vodka.

However, buyers from Tatarstan are changing their preferences. According to, since the beginning of the year, the volume of retail vodka sales in Tatarstan has decreased by 10% to 2 million dal. According to them, Belenkaya is replaced by cognac, whiskey, brandy. The Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets Research Center CIFRRA said vodka sales volume fell 5.25%, but sales of other beverages increased. Sales of foreign whiskey, tequila, rum, brandy, which are in the high price category (from 1,000 rubles per bottle), recorded a gigantic growth of 34.2%. Traditionally, “women’s” alcoholic beverages with an alcohol volume of up to 20% began to be sold by 5.2% more, “men’s” spirits – by 9%. And only wine sank further, losing 3.7%.

“Vodka is no longer a fashionable drink,” says a market insider. “The trend to reduce the consumption of strong drinks did not start today, not yesterday. For the elite, there is now an incredibly huge supply for cognac and brandy.”

According to him, a large production of wines in the Crimea is being revived, the quality of which is not inferior to that of Krasnodar. But in the mass segment they begin to turn to cheap aperitifs, since vodka is not affordable for everyone.

Against the background of growing demand, Tatspirtprom increased production. According to the company’s press service, 6.3 million dal of alcoholic beverages were produced in the first 9 months of the year, including 5.57 million dal for vodka. Photo: Maksim Platonov

“They drink pretty much the same thing everywhere in Russia”

Meanwhile, the constant records of alcohol sales in Tatarstan are assessed by market participants in different ways. Galina Sharafutdinova, executive director of the Association of Restaurant and Hotel Owners of Tatarstan, believes that people have simply “gone home to drink” because of the closure of bars and restaurants. He explains the change in taste preferences in such a way that they drink not to “just get drunk and forget”, but “to have a good night at home”.

“They drink all over Russia about the same, if you don’t take Orthodox religious regions where there are no shops at all,” said Vadim Drobiz, director of the Federal Markets Research Center. and CIFRRA Alcohol Regions. in other regions, the illegal alcohol market continues to exist, and in Tatarstan it was whitewashed and switched to legal vodka.

According to him, Tatarstan is one of the regions with a high standard of living, and where the salary is higher, the more legal alcohol is bought:

“Once in Russia, they started doing rankings 10 years ago, showing that there are regions with high alcohol consumption, they are ‘bad'”, he argues. “But in fact, one has to interpret the exact opposite. The ‘worst’ region in this regard are those with low volumes of legal alcohol sales. This means that the consumption of illegal alcohol is high. Therefore , the alcohol ratings should be “knocked down”. On the one hand, Tatarstan and Bashkiria are theoretically, like, “Muslim regions, but in fact, they are usually strong vodka regions. But Islam in Dagestan has an impact on retail – alcohol is not sold in stores there during Ramadan.”

The downward trend in demand for vodka, according to the expert, is not due to a change in tastes, but to the reshuffling of the age demographic structure of the population.

“From the end of the 1990s to the beginning of the 2000s, half as many children were born in the country. As a result, the beer market has fallen by a third, since 70% of beer is drunk by young people. Now those born in 2002-2004 are coming to stores. And the decline of the beer market stopped,” Drobiz gave as an example.

Strong alcohol is consumed mainly by men. According to expert calculations, there would also be a demographic crisis here, and consumption was to fall by 1.5% per year. And it would have dropped had it not been for the pandemic.

Vadim Drobiz believes that forecasts of a sharp 20% price increase will not come true:

“The price of strong alcohol has increased, as usual, by less than 5%. It has nothing else to develop, “he is sure. But wine prices can increase by 10% Russian wine producers have a difficult situation imported wines, there is no reason for a price increase.

Luiza Ignatieva


Rose D. Jones