Budding confectionery industry in Moscow in the late 1940s

January 30

In the market, demand often exceeds supply, but things can also be the other way around. Both situations have arisen with sweet street food in Moscow. Moscow’s Main Archive Directorate (Glavarkhiv) keeps documents from the Moscow City Council (Mossovet), which include evidence showing how Moscow expanded its offer of sweets and ice cream in the late 1940s.

Ice cream was the first item the Executive Committee of the Mossovet focused on, considering the level of sales too low. For example, in 25 days in January 1948, the industry recorded only 10 percent of projected sales, or less than 80 tonnes of the more than 500 tonnes of ice cream produced. The product seemed to suffer low demand because of its newness – ice cream production on an industrial scale did not begin until the 1930s in the Soviet Union, and the GOST standard was approved in 1941.

In its decision of 31 January, 1948, the Executive Committee described the situation as unsatisfactory. The reason for the industry’s poor performance was a lack of retail outlets, and the ice cream stall network was if anything, shrinking.

To address the problem, the Executive Committee issued an order launching the sale of ice cream – either by weight or in small packages – in grocery shops, department stores, restaurants and cafes, snack bars, ice cream tents and kiosks, and at theatres and cinemas. This increased the retail network to 3,000 outlets. The new policy also simplified the permit application process for selling ice cream on the streets, in squares and at metro stations. A permit could now be issued just three days after an application was submitted.

The City Council also focused on another type of street food – sculpted sugar confectionery on sticks. Those were quite popular, but until 1948, there was no official industrial production of lollipops in Moscow. They were made by small backyard businesses or cooperatives, so supply lagged far behind demand. From 1948 onwards, sculpted lollipops were manufactured by city confectionery factories, and multicoloured sugar bunnies, cockerels, fishes, squirrels and other animals began to be sold from stalls around Moscow.

Thanks to that policy, the Moscow City Council Executive Committee streamlined the industry and made Muscovites happier with those delicious sweet products.

Source: mos.ru

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