Biscuits – croissants – salty snacks: What the Greeks consume

Biscuits – croissants – salty snacks: What the Greeks consume

A major challenge for the industry of standard biscuits, croissants and savory snacks, especially in the current period, are the strong inflationary pressures, the large increases in the prices of raw materials and transport, which combined with the increased energy costs have already led to price hikes on many foods, including standard items. The above are highlighted in a sectoral study carried out by ICAP CRIF. Nevertheless, based on ICAP CRIF estimates, in 2022 the domestic consumption of standard biscuits, croissants and salty snacks is estimated to increase by 2%.

The production sector of standard biscuits consists of a few, large-scale industrial units, as well as a number of smaller enterprises, mainly of an artisanal nature, which are mainly aimed at local markets. Importing companies are active in the wider food industry and are also engaged in the import of other standardized products. The demand for standard biscuits is mainly met by the domestically produced products. The import penetration of the sector was formed in the two years 2020-2021 at approximately 16%, while the export performance is estimated at approximately 28% in 2021. Eleni Demertzi, senior manager of the economic and sectoral studies department of ICAP CRIF, points out that the volume of domestic apparent consumption of cookies showed a slight increase in the three years 2018-2020, with an average annual growth rate of 3%, while in 2021 it decreased by approximately 3%.

The domestic market of standard croissants is made up of a few large-sized production companies, which are active in the wider food industry, as they also have other similar or non-similar products, such as cookies, snacks, pastry products, etc. At the same time, there are also some smaller-sized production units , which channel their products, to a large extent, to local or “closed” markets. Demand is met exclusively by domestically produced products. Characteristic is the fact that there are no imports of standardized croissants as in many European countries the croissant is mainly available in fresh form from bakeries, pastry shops etc. Part of the domestic production is available abroad, with the sector’s export performance hovering around 21% in the period 2020-2021. According to Panagiotis Manetas, Consultant of the Economic – Sectoral Studies Department of ICAP CRIF, who edited the report according to the study, the domestic consumption of standard croissants increased in the period 2018-2019, while the following two years (2020-2021) showed a decline with an average annual rate of change of -4%.

The salty snack manufacturing sector consists of a few, large-scale industrial units as well as a few importing companies. The demand for standardized salty snacks is mainly met by domestically produced products. The import penetration of the sector was formed in the two years 2020-2021 at 27%, while the export performance is estimated at 21% around the same period. The domestic consumption of salty snacks (chips & shaped) followed an upward trend in the three years 2018-2020 with an average annual growth rate of 4%. This trend continued in 2021 with a slight increase of 1.3%.

According to ICAP CRIF, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which also affected the Greek territory from March 2020, did not negatively affect the domestic market of standard biscuits and salty snacks, in contrast to the market of croissants, which showed a decline. According to the results of the ICAP CRIF sectoral study, the degree of concentration in the three sub-markets (biscuits-croissants-salty snacks) is particularly high, as a few large companies occupy the majority of consumption. These companies have organized distribution networks, which cover the entire territory. The examined products are available on the market both from the FOOD channel (supermarkets, grocery stores, etc.), and from the CTN channel (kiosks, convenience stores, etc.).

As part of the study, a financial analysis was carried out for the three individual markets (biscuits, croissants-salty snacks) based on selected indicators and a five-year consolidated balance sheet (2016-2020) was drawn up based on a sample of representative production companies of the specific sectors. From the analysis of the consolidated balance sheet, the following emerges: In relation to the market of standardized biscuits, the total turnover of the 6 companies in the sample followed an upward trend in the 5-year period 2016-2020, showing a cumulative increase of 22.9% in 2020/2016 . Gross profits followed a similar course, registering a corresponding increase of 24.9%. Both the operating and the net result were positive throughout the five years, noting a significant increase in the period under review. Profits (before income tax) more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2016. Regarding the standard croissant market, the total sales of the 5 companies in the sample showed upward trends in the 2-year period 2017-2018, while in the period 2019-2020 they showed downward trend (-6.2% in 2020/2016). Gross profits showed an increase in the three years 2017-2019, while in 2020 they decreased recording a cumulative increase of 10.4% in the examined five years. Both the operating and the net result were positive throughout the five years, recording, however, significant annual fluctuations. Regarding the salty snacks industry, the total turnover of the 5 companies in the sample showed an annual increase in the 5-year period 2016-2020 (cumulative increase of 31.7% in 2020/2016). Gross profits also followed an upward trend, registering a cumulative increase of 28.7% in the five years under review. Both the operating and the net result were positive all years, registering significant annual increases in the last three years.