Greek food and beverage producers continue to lead the coun-try’s export boom, re.ecting the growing export orientation of a sector long viewed as one of the country’s most competitive industries. With its quality Mediterranean produce, Greece’s 750 food and beverage companies account for more than one-third of the country’s total manufacturing output, while F&B exports have grown by almost 50% since the start of the crisis. Overall, Greek exports are up 15% so far this year, compared with last year.
The industry has been undergoing a transformation—refocussing its efforts on markets abroad, as it goes through a restructuring at home. At this year’s Anuga 2017 fair in Germany, the world’s lead-ing F&B trade exhibition, the number of Greek companies taking part jumped sharply, with 160 Greek companies exhibiting at the Greek national pavilion.
“This year’s participation is 30% higher than the previous show and we are here to promote the export orientation of these com-panies,” Enterprise Greece Chairman Christos Staikos said at the fair in October. “The response is positive, something which is evident in the increase in Greek exports.”
Next year, Greece will also be the honoured country at the Summer Fancy Food Show, one of the largest F&B exhibitions in North America, taking place in New York in June 2018. Two years ago, Greece was the honored country at the 2015 Anuga fair.
Meanwhile in Greece, the sector is restructuring with leading busi-nesses consolidating and new investors entering the industry. Greek snack foods company Chipita bought out leading Greek meat processor Nikas this summer, part of its plans to create a major food manufacturing group. Currently, the French bank Lazard is in the process of selling a 75% stake in Greece’s two biggest aquaculture companies, while foreign investors have shown signi.cant interest in investing in the country’s baked goods sector.
“Greece’s food and beverage industry represents a dynamic, com-petitive and export oriented sector with signi.cant investments and business activities in Greece, the Balkans and all of Europe,” according to a recent report by the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research. Despite the years of crisis, the sector has shown “it remains a basic lever of economic growth.”
Anuga Fair In Numbers
Number of visitors: 165,000
Number of countries partici-pating: 107 Number of exhibitors: 7,400 Greece’s rank in terms of national participation: 6th Size of Greek national pavilion: 2,800sqm
Number of Greek companies hosted in national pavilion: 160 Increase in Greek companies participating: 30%
Year-on-year growth of Greek exports (through August): 15.1%
Number of Greek business contacts with visitors: 10,500 Number of investor meetings with Greek F&B companies: 25
Source: Enterprise Greece NEWSLETTER