Table of contents:

TOP-8 most scarce goods of the USSR, for which huge queues lined up
TOP-8 most scarce goods of the USSR, for which huge queues lined up

Those who remember the USSR with nostalgia constantly insist that food products in those days, when compared with ours, were very cheap. But no one remembers that most of these very goods were very problematic to acquire at the state price in the seventies and eighties. There was a chronic shortage of them, as evidenced by the empty store counters.

The incomes of the population increased annually. The production base simply could not cope with providing the citizens of the state with essential goods. There was no talk of household appliances, appliances, let alone cars.

In the USSR, the lion's share of the budget was allocated to the defense industry

The defense industry was to some extent to blame for this; the lion's share of the expenses was allocated to this industrial sector. The main goal is victory over the capitalist countries during the Cold War. Accordingly, everything related to the production and supply of goods for the civilian population was relegated to second place. Fixed cost and a planned economy have been a barrier to responding quickly to ever-changing consumer demand. Many commodity items were not in demand. Products lay in warehouses for years.

But there were also scarce goods. People with financial resources could not afford to buy the thing they needed. As a result, huge queues were collected, where it was possible to stand for many hours, lists were created. Some manufactured goods were distributed among consumers' workplaces. Citizens spent time in lines during the lunch break in the evenings. Here they met and fell in love.

The residents of Ivanovo were provided with knitwear by a local factory

Of course, in cities where a special level of supply was expected, for example, in Leningrad, Moscow, closed and resort cities, in the Baltics, the deficit was felt not so sharply. The rest of the settlements were supposed to have their own production base. Only essential goods were supplied (sugar, bread, etc.). Consequently, by region, goods produced in this territory were mainly sold. In Ivanovo, for example, it was knitwear, in Kamchatka - fish and red caviar.

Imported goods were also in short supply. The country's leadership established strict restrictions on the purchase of foreign products, for which it was necessary to pay with the currency that was in short supply for the Union. What can we say about an industrial group, if funds were not allocated even for grain in the event of a crop failure at home. When oil prices rose, the situation with imported goods improved slightly.

A separate list of goods is worth getting to know better. It was their shortage that ordinary Soviet people often faced.

1. Instant coffee

Brazilian coffee was especially popular in the USSR

There was also a shortage of imported coffee in the USSR. If he appeared in stores, a huge line immediately formed. The most popular products remained the Brazilian brands Cacique and Pele. They were sold in glass jars. Instant Indian coffee was no less popular. For some reason it was called "the dust of Indian roads". However, this did not affect its demand from Soviet citizens.

But more often than not, people had to buy coffee drinks, which included an impressive amount of chestnuts, chicory, barley and even soybeans. These crops were grown in the Union.

2. Indian tea

They tried to buy Indian tea not only for themselves, but also for a present

Of course, tea was also produced on the territory of the USSR, in the Krasnodar Territory or Georgia. This particular product was not a deficit.But in terms of taste, it could not be called good. Imported "Indian" tea, the packaging of which depicted an elephant, is a completely different matter. Just to buy it, I had to do a real "hunt". This scarce product was purchased not only for oneself, but also as a gift. He was presented as gratitude.

3. Red and black caviar

Due to high demand, black and red caviar became scarce products


In the sixties, caviar was widely sold in stores. At the same time, its cost was low. But closer to the eighties, this product almost completely disappeared from store shelves. This was due to a decrease in the catch of sturgeon and salmon fish, as well as an increased consumer demand.

Over time, this delicacy has become a valuable and desirable gift for any occasion. There was even a tradition in the Soviet Union - to serve sandwiches with red or black caviar on New Year's or birthday.

It should be noted that the product was also appreciated in foreign countries. Therefore, citizens traveling abroad took several jars with them in order to exchange caviar for imported products, for example, equipment or clothing.

4. Boiled sausage

in the USSR, the cost of boiled sausage was lower than the selling price

Soviet boiled water was made exclusively from natural meat (no soy, can you imagine). Its cost was 2 rubles 60 kopecks, that is, its cost was higher than the selling price. Sausage was sold in the capitals. "Doktorskaya" sausage was in special demand among Soviet citizens. On weekends, electric trains drove from the capitals to the periphery, in the carriages of which an unsurpassed sausage aroma hovered. In their towns and even regional centers, they could not get such a deficit.

5. Toilet paper

The industry did not have time to provide the population with toilet paper

For many years, Soviet people used newspapers that were torn to pieces. Over time, special paper, very soft, came into the life of the citizens of the USSR. Nobody counted on the massive demand for this product, so the industry was simply not ready to fully provide consumers.

In the sixty-ninth, when the production of toilet paper had just begun, it was in short supply, and for the next several years too. Those who did get it, strung it on a rope and hung the rolls around their necks (it was more convenient to carry). Well, from the outside it looked very comical.

6. Buckwheat

Buckwheat could only be bought with a doctor's note

A very scarce cereal, which was sold only in the departments with products intended for diabetics. To buy it, the seller had to provide a doctor's note. In one hand, no more than a kilogram was issued. The same product was included in special grocery orders for certain groups of people - veterans. The problem was that it was much more profitable to sow wheat or corn on the collective farm fields, rather than buckwheat.

7. Jeans

Jeans of American manufacturers were in great demand in the Union

Real jeans from American brands were in fashion: Wrangler and Levis. But the products of Yugoslav, Bulgarian and Indian manufacturers were not popular. To get at least approximately the same effect as the models from the USA, the cheaper trousers were first tied up and then boiled down. To check the originality of the thing, they carried it over with a wet match, after which they looked to see if the color had changed.

8. Books

Books in the USSR were also a scarce commodity

There were always a lot of books in bookstores, but I had to run after some. People in those days read a lot, since there was no Internet, and not everyone had TVs. In the 60s and 70s, books by Alexander Dumas and Conan Doyle, fantastic works and some children's publications were included in the category of scarce books. Such a rare book could still be obtained by citizens, who in return brought twenty kilograms of waste paper. It happened that a volume of Brezhnev or Lenin was attached to the load of a popular book. And those editions that were in special demand were sometimes taken to print shops and already sold copies.

Popular by topic