Trends in consumer behavior 2023-2024. Stabilization and new normality

19 January 2024

ROMIR sums up the results of 2023 in the identified trends of purchasing behavior and makes forecasts for their development for the year 2024 on the basis of research and analysis of information obtained through the Unified Data Panel conducted during the year.

The general mood of consumers for the year showed a trend for stabilization. The population demonstrates a high level of adaptability, which is due to the large number of crises and shocks that our fellow citizens have gone through. On average, the average Russian accounts for about 9 crises during his life.

The consumer confidence index calculated by ROMIR just demonstrates the ability of Russians to adapt to new realities. If in 2022 pronounced negative moods prevailed, in 2023 there was a trend for recovery, and in the last quarter of the last year the Index finally entered the positive zone (+1).

Russians living in the Urals and to the east feel more confident, the level of anxiety is noted in the north-west of the country. A higher degree of positive mood is noted among young people aged 18-24 and in the average age group of 35-44 years, also among Russians with an above-average income. Traditional TV, as a source of news, adds optimism to consumers as opposed to fans of alternative channels like YouTube.

In general, ROMIR experts are inclined to assume that in 2024 the formation of a new normality will continue even against the background of the declared constant economy. The overall level of stress will decrease. Russians will continue to try to pamper themselves in various available ways.

Thus, in 2023, there was an increase in the population's attention to various cultural and entertainment events and the entertainment market in general.

The ticket market has been sitting for quite a long time. This was due to several recent external strikes, starting with the pandemic. Over the past two years, the number of concerts of foreign performers has sharply decreased, the number of Western films released on Russian screens has been reduced to at least. Our compatriots in search of entertainment have actively switched to classic leisure activities, such as visiting theaters, exhibitions, museums, various quests and so on.

Despite the increase in price, there is an increase in the audience of such events, an increase in the frequency of visits. Year-on-year ticket sales increased by 12% in monetary terms, the number of tickets sold for the year increased by 30%. Moreover, the increase in these trends was noted towards the end of the year.

Separately, it is worth noting the active preparation of Russian consumers for the New Year than in previous years. In 2023, the pre-holiday fever began earlier than usual. Since the beginning of November, ROMIR has seen a steady increase in the average check and total weekly expenses, the peak of which in the last weeks of the year was significantly higher than in previous years. In the last months of the year, active spending was recorded in such categories as hobbies and creativity, decor and small gifts. Buyers were more conscious about preparing for the holidays and allocated more funds to please themselves and their loved ones with affordable solutions. In general, there is a feeling that many of our fellow citizens, leaving their despondency behind, decided to compensate for the problems of recent years with intensive preparation for the holidays with the hope of a miracle and a better future.

Among the ways to deal with stress, the popularity of walking, spending time with friends and pets has grown over the year. And the available ways to please yourself include delicious food and proper nutrition. 

With delicious food and small gastronomic joys, Russians try to pamper themselves against the background of the inability to give themselves other more expensive pleasures. In this regard, for example, there is an increase in demand for meat delicacies - by 24% per year. During the year, the audience of hot coffee (takeaway coffee) grew by 4.5%. In the field of catering, there is an expansion of the audience and an increase in the average check.

f we talk about proper nutrition, the number of adherents of healthy lifestyles in Russia over the past year has shown an increase of 6%. In general, 75% of respondents are positive about healthy eating. Of these, 28% have changed their attitude to healthy lifestyle in a positive way over the past year, and 47% of respondents have long been positive about healthy eating, which is consistently among the TOP-3 associations with a healthy lifestyle.

Thus, ROMIR supports forecasts for further positive dynamics of the development of categories that are associated with food pleasures and proper nutrition. However, at the same time, such a trend as the formation of sustainable patterns of buying behavior aimed at economy should not be discounted. 

ROMIR experts record cross-category migration of buyers, which is most actively manifested where such a choice exists. For example, in the meat category, the buyer abandons more expensive segments, such as beef or fish, in favor of more affordable ones - chicken or pork.

There are also price shifts within categories - from more expensive brands to more affordable ones up to focus on their own brands (STMs). A wide range of STM in different categories has already been formed on the market, corresponding to the "price-quality" request. At the same time, consumer confidence is formed even in quite sensitive categories, such as alcohol or children's goods, where there was previously a high level of distrust of STM. In 2023, ROMIR experts note the destruction of these barriers.

Another way to save money directly related to retail is to switch between formats and networks. And switching between formats - online and offline - is becoming more noticeable. Accessibility, convenience, the ability to compare prices are becoming increasingly popular. This opportunity is primarily provided by marketplaces, which leads to a noticeable increase in their audience.

On the other hand, low-price positioning networks are also actively growing. These are the same hard discounters through which buyers close some of their needs. Home stores still retain their key importance, the interest and trust in which the buyer remains consistently high.

And in conclusion, it is worth noting that today, more than ever, customers are beginning to appreciate all kinds of interaction, in particular, loyalty programs are becoming more and more popular. In the future, the buyer will give preference to those retailers and those players in the market who, in addition to the best assortment and price offer, will provide personalized communication taking into account various parameters, such as even family size.

* The ROMIR Single Data Panel covers 40,000 consumers, 15,000 households, in more than 240 cities and settlements of Russia. The sample represents the entire population of the country. The sample structure, in addition to territorial stratification, is controlled by additional parameters, such as the size and composition of households, average per capita income

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