ECONOMY

As bakery growth slow, patisseries offer sweet returns

Growth rates in Greece?s bakery industry dropped off in 2009 after expanding for two years, according to survey results presented by research company ICAP.

The sector expanded by an annual pace of 7.3 percent in 2007 and 2008 but then the growth figure slowed to 1.3 percent. The sector is highly fragmented with most Greeks preferring to shop at their local bakery.

?The majority of consumers buy their bread from a bakery in their neighbourhood, which they trust in regards to the quality,? ICAP said in a statement.

Demand for products sold by bakeries and patisseries is affected by consumer trends, dietary habits, disposable income, and price level?s, according to ICAP. A closer look at the numbers shows that patisseries are more profitable than bakeries, providing owners with a higher return on capital invested. Despite falling profit levels recorded by sweet shops, earnings continue to remain at satisfactory levels, added the research company.