Depending on basic ingredient canned and preserved fish/seafood on Russian market split into canned/preserved fish, sea invertebrates, sea mammals and algae. Depending on canning/preserving technology offer on the review market splits into sterile canned products and sterile preserved products (sprats, Baltic herring or herring in salted or spicy brine). Production uses both natural fresh raw fish/seafood and processed fish/seafood. Fish/seafood can be canned/preserved in tomato sauce, vegetable oil, etc. By recipe type the review category splits into: natural canned/preserved fish/seafood, canned/preserved fish/seafood in tomato sauce or in oil, with vegetables or fish/seafood only, p?t?s and spreads, dietary offerings.
Natural canned/preserved fish/seafood is made with no additives (except maybe for bay leaf, pepper and fish broth). Natural canned/preserved fish/seafood can contain only fish, crustaceans, seafood or cod liver sterilized and hermetically sealed in a can. Today Russia produces about 50 kinds of natural canned/preserved fish/seafood.
The largest segment of Russian market of canned/preserved fish/seafood is natural canned fish (39% in 2014). In 2013 share of this segment was a little larger (40.8%). Second large segment is fish canned in oil (34% in 2014, 36.4% in 2013). And third large segment is fish canned in tomato sauce with 21% in 2014 (16.6% in 2013).
Russian canning industry mainly uses tin cans and glass containers. These kinds of packaging should satisfy certain demands in order to preserve product quality, limit penetration of substances from the packaging to the product, prevent inner and outer corrosion of packaging, provide thermal conductivity. Container should be hermetically sealed, be light and have optimal size proportions.
Fish is mainly canned in tin cans. Drawback of this packaging is its opacity, so consumer cannot see the product inside and makes choice being ruled only by information printed on the label.
Convenient packaging, its design, product information, layout in sales point – all these factors influence consumer choice. Packaging plays a special role in positioning of preserved/canned products. On this market brands are not always memorized by consumers, thus package exterior is very important. Package design is improved with bright lithographing on tin, labels are becoming more diverse. Polymer materials like films can also be applied. An example of innovative packaging is “Protact” – polymer covered material based on polyethylene terephthalate.
Manufacturers increasingly introduce new packaging formats including cans with easy-to-open seal. Such package is durable, light and is made from recyclable materials.
According to official statistics, segment of canned cod liver demonstrated 73% increase of production most probably driven by increased harvest of cod. Production of fish canned with vegetables declined by 22%, of fish canned in tomato sauce – by 14%. Decline was also observed in production of fish canned in oil and of natural canned fish – respectively by 7 and 5%.
In 2013 production of canned fish declined by 6.4% while in 2014 it grew a little – by 0.9%.
According to industry experts, sales of canned/preserved food is influenced by season: sales go up in December-January, before and during New Year season. Interestingly, most impressive growth is demonstrated by red caviar (salmon roe).
According to RosStat, retail sales of canned/preserved fish/seafood accounted for 101,005.3 million rubles in 2013 and for 78358.5 million rubles in Q3 2014.
Export has a small share in foreign trade of canned/preserved fish/seafood; main target market is Azerbaijan. Import provides about 45% of the review market, main supplying countries are Latvia and Ukraine.
Peculiarity of the review industry is that fish/seafood processing plants are located close to fishing areas. In Russia there are four regions like that. The largest share in production volume of the review category is provided by Kaliningrad Region (35%). Share of Far Eastern Federal District is 30%, of Northwestern FD (including Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region) – 20%. The rest 15% of production volume is provided by fish/seafood processing facilities located in the South of Russia.
This explains quite limited list of players in comparison to other sectors of food industry. Russia counts just about 100 fish/seafood processing plants including SME companies working on local markets.
Spheres of influence of manufacturers have distinct geographic borders. Conditionally the territory of Russia can be split into two approximately equal areas. The east of the country is dominated by manufacturers of Far Eastern and Southern Federal Districts while the west – by manufacturers of Kaliningrad Region and Northwestern FD.
The first stage of fish processing is fish harvesting. Harvest volume determines production volume of canned/preserved fish/seafood.
According to the latest data of the Center of Fishing Monitoring and Communication, in 2013 Russia harvested 4,280.5 thousand tons of aqua bio resources in all parts of the World ocean and in fresh waters inside the country; this harvest by 10.7 thousand tons or by 0.3% exceeded the harvest of 2012. Besides, this harvest was by 1.4% or 60.5 thousand tons over the plan set by governmental Program for Development of Fish Industry*. Best fulfillment of this Program implies large-scale renovation of production facilities and machinery/equipment for fish farming, harvesting and processing, state regulation of fish industry, improvement of related legislation, development of partnership between the state and private capital, fulfillment of new federal and departmental target programs. Expected result of the best fulfillment of the Program is increased production of fresh and processed fish – up to 5,255 thousand tons. Annual growth of production volume is planned to constitute 4% to 8%.
Basic fulfillment of the above mentioned Program implies financial support of the review industry in the frames of limits set by the Ministry of Finance of Russia for budget provisions during the next fiscal year and during the planned period and also with consideration of long term forecast for social and economic development of Russia. Basic fulfillment of the Program is to stimulate increase of production of fresh and processed fish to reach 3,455 thousand tons in 2011 and 3,865 thousand tons in 2020. Expected annual growth of production volume is to make 0.5% to 1.6%.
* The Program for Development of Fish Industry for the period till 2020 was approved by Russian Government. Budget for this Program constitutes about 90 billion rubles.