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Packaged Food in Croatia

Croatia Packaged Food Market: New market research released

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2014-04-10 14:27:03 - Packaged Food in Croatia - a new market research report on

As opposed to other markets in Croatia, which suffered much more from the credit crunch in 2009 and 2010, sales of packaged food have already reached the previous peak recorded in 2008. In current value terms, 2013 is expected to be the third year of growth; however, this is not accompanied by volume sales growth, but endorsed by price rises, mostly in basic categories such as dairy and bakery.

The pivotal point for the packaged food market in 2013 was obviously Croatia´s accession to the EU. It is expected to bring some fresh wind to the market, mostly through the removal of trade barriers, which will allow for more imported food from EU countries. Also, some new brands from manufacturers which



were previously reluctant to enter the Croatian market will appear. In general, this event should bring a reduction in the prices of packaged food, which is understandable, given the high mark-ups and prices in general in the country. Even before the actual accession in July, retailers began price wars, drastically reducing prices in some packaged food categories.

In the overall packaged food competitive landscape, artisanal products are firmly on the top, with almost three times the share of the runner-up. Interestingly, artisanal products are important in bakery only, but this gives them enough momentum to stay firmly at the top. Artisanal products, mostly in bread, are a long tradition, on a continuous upwards trend, which is not expected to wear off in the future.

In terms of distribution channels, no major changes are expected in 2013. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are the dominant duo, accounting for half of value sales, and marginally extending their lead. Whilst discounters is continuing its success story in terms of share, convenience stores is quite neutral. Two channels on the receiving end of the moves in share are small independent grocers and other grocery retailers, paying the price for their small formats.

Increased competitiveness caused by the EU accession will determine the path of packaged food over the next five years. An inflow of private label or economy brands originating from EU countries will drive prices down. Constant value sales are expected to see a marginal increase between 2013 and 2018. Traditional consumer loyalty to Croatian brands is slowly eroding as private label advances; the march to frugality is expected to continue in the future, even if disposable incomes start to rise again.

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Mike King
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