Do Ukrainians buy cheaper or stay loyal to their favorite brands?

October 2022
Special research for the Ukrainian Marketing Forum

How did the war affect the consumption of Ukrainians: do they buy cheaper or remain loyal to their favorite brands? — Gradus Research

The research company Gradus Research asked Ukrainians whether their favorite brands continue to find their way into their consumer baskets or if they are trying to choose cheaper alternatives. The study was conducted specifically for the Ukrainian Marketing Forum.

To study changes in consumption, 6 categories of products were selected, such as ready-made meat products, dairy products, hygiene products, mineral waters, sweetened carbonated drinks, and tobacco products. The list of categories is not exhaustive.

How has consumption changed in these categories?

Demand for ready-made meat products, hygiene products, and tobacco products proved more elastic during the war, meaning a large number of consumers abandoned their favorite brands in favor of cheaper alternatives. This often happens in premium product categories, or non-essential product categories (as in the case of tobacco, where 61% of consumers switched to cheaper substitutes), or in categories where there are many players with similar offers (as in the case of sausages and hygiene & body care products).

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While in the other three categories, the demand turned out to be less elastic, that is, with the price increase, a smaller number of consumers abandoned their favorite brands. More than half of Ukrainians continue to buy their usual brands of dairy products (52%), mineral waters (57%), and sweetened carbonated drinks (52%). Which may indicate the importance of product composition in these categories, or the strength of brand loyalty.

"As in the case of McDonald's, which return was highly awaited in Ukraine, we see how love marks work in certain categories. No matter how the price increases, people will still buy their favorite milk or mineral water, which they are used to," comments Evgeniya Bliznyuk, sociologist, CEO & Founder of Gradus Research.

It is also worth noting that the number of citizens who began to consume more expensive brands during the war is not statistically significant.

The survey was conducted by the research company Gradus Research using the method of self-filling the questionnaire in the mobile application. The Gradus online panel displays the population structure of cities with more than 50,000 residents aged 18-60 by gender, age, settlement size, and region. Period of the survey: September 23-26, 2022. Sample size: 2,000 respondents.

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