The cake industry has once again whipped itself up into a frenzy of activity with the approach of the New Year festivities, one of the main occasions that all Russians celebrate in style whatever their political or religious leanings. The confectionery sector in general, and the cake market segment in particular, are season-dependent, with national festivals such as New Year, Orthodox Christmas, and International Women's Day all boosting sales, said Artyom Dotsenko, marketing director with the Moscow office of Lotte, a subsidiary of a South Korean confectionery company of the same name. The whole of December is a demand-driven period in the sector with almost all warehouses belonging to key market operators emptying completely before the New Year rolls in, he said. "The pre-New Year season always boosts sales by about 150-200 percent of the average daily figure," he added. With this year's gross turnover nationwide in the sector estimated at about 600-700 tons, the cake market made a full recovery from the effects of the 1998 crisis as most market operators in the sector, including Cadbury, attained or even outperformed the pre-crisis level for the first time in mid-2001, the Russia Journal reported.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated