Copyright Matt Preston Flickr Russia

© Matt Preston Flickr

In a new report from market analyst Nielsen, 70 per cent of Russian respondents said that markets offered a wider selection of fresh produce, while one in two stated that prices in markets were lower than in chain stores, Sputnik News reported.

'The opinion that fresh products at the market are better than those in supermarkets is largely due to the fact that their suppliers are national companies or companies from neighbouring countries, so goods are believed to gain in freshness and safety in the eyes of consumers,' said Marina Jerskowa, manager of the department responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of sales and marketing communications at Nielsen Russia.

For vegetables, the most popular items among Russian consumers are cucumbers (bought by 92 per cent of consumers) and tomatoes (91 per cent), as well as potatoes and onions (79 per cent). As for fruit, the top items are apples (81 per cent), bananas (78 per cent), lemons (56 per cent) and peaches (49 per cent). Seasonal berries, meanwhile, were purchased by 50 per cent of respondents.

Price increases, largely a result of Russia’s ban on EU, US and certain other sources, have been mainly responsible for a reduction in purchases in value terms.

During the period of the survey, one in three Russians spent less on fresh vegetables than the previous year. Approximately 57 per cent bought them in the same quantities, with 16 per cent saying they were buying fewer fresh vegetables or none at all, since they had started growing them at home.

Around 15 per cent of respondents lamented the quality of agricultural products available in Russia.