Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/20/2012 -- Our consumer outlook for Croatia takes into account the difficult domestic and external economic situation which will be further compounded by the March 2012 increase in value added tax (VAT) to 25%. Nevertheless, we highlight that the weak state of the domestic economy will see to it that a more pronounced increase in the price level is not felt this year. Similarly, food and drink value is not expected to rise dramatically as consumers increasingly turn to cheaper private label goods and cut down on nonessential spending.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
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- 2012 per capita food consumption = +0.62%; forecast compound growth rate to 2016 = +1.17%
- 2012 alcoholic drinks value sales = +1.12%; forecast compound growth rate to 2016 = +2.40%
- 2012 soft drinks value sales = +2.74%; forecast compound growth rate to 2016 = +4.66%
- 2012 mass grocery retail = +3.82%; forecast compound growth rate to 2016 = +5.03%
Key Company Trends
Leading Local Players Investing in Research and Development (R&D) - In March 2012, leading Croatian conglomerate Podravka announced its intention to create a new R&D unit, which will be part of its wider food and beverage business. The unit comprises the following departments: product development, technology development and investment projects, agriculture development, ecology development and quality control and business quality. The move illustrates the company's strategy to invest in novel products, which are likely to be marketed across the Balkans region and wider, given the sluggish domestic market conditions.
Dairy Industry Interrupted by Farmer Protests - A dispute between dairy farmers and local dairy Dukat, part of French dairy product company Lactalis, intensified with the former taking part in protests over the lowering of the price of milk by the latter. In January 2012, talks between milk producers of the European Milk Board (EMB) member organisation HSUPM and Dukat Dairy and Croatia's Ministry of Agriculture began, but were halted in mid-February without results. Nevertheless, milk farmers - urged by the Croatian Association of Milk Producers (HSUPM) - who had taken to the streets, blocking roads with their tractors, agreed to end their strike in March 2012.
Consumers Remain Receptive to Private Label Goods - Private label food and drink products have gained considerable ground in Croatia over the past years, on account of difficult economic conditions and downward pressures on consumer confidence levels. According to a recent GfK survey, some 60% of local consumers buy private label goods occasionally, while a further 20% do so regularly.
Key Risks To Outlook
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