Chewing gum has topped the list of food items that have seen the steepest increase in retail price in Russia over the past year, business daily RBK reported this week, citing data from the State Statistics Service, Rosstat.
The average price for a pack of chewing gum was 39 rubles ($0.47) in March, which is just over 22% more than in the same month last year, according to Rosstat figures.
This is the fastest pace that chewing gum prices have increased over the past decade. Among other food items hit hard by inflation are margarine, cucumbers, and ice cream.
According to industry representatives cited by RBK, chewing gum prices have been driven up by the Western sanctions on Russia. Imports of the main components for the production of gum base have been restricted, as well as the supply of materials for packaging. Russian manufacturers of gum base have reportedly been unable to make up for the shortfall.
Chewing gum is manufactured in Russia by Wrigley – a subsidiary of US-based Mars, which manufactures Orbit, Wrigley’s, and Eclipse – Mondelez, which makes Dirol, and Perfetti Van Melle, which makes Mentos.
After the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February last year, Mars announced that it would scale back its business in Russia and focus on its “essential role in feeding” people. The corporation suspended imports and exports to the country.
The US-based Mondelez has “scaled back all non-essential activities” and discontinued new investments Russia, while “helping maintain the continuity of the food supply” in the country.
The Italian-Dutch Perfetti Van Melle did not disclose its position and is still operating in the country.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section