ECONOMY

Ice-cream makers hope to make up for lost ground with hot spell

Ice-cream manufacturers must be taking heart from the unusual spell of hot weather, hoping to reverse a 40-50 percent decline in sales in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period in 2002. Demand has remained steady over the last three years and last year’s 2-3 percent rise in turnover was due to price increases and new products rather than volume. This week is expected to see the start of an intensively competitive advertising campaign. One element of concern for manufacturers is the lower number of tourists – curiously, the country has a lower per capital consumption of ice cream than northern countries. The Greek ice-cream market has an annual turnover of 220 million euros and is 80 percent controlled by domestic firms Delta, Evga and Kri-Kri. Importer Algida, however, has the third largest market share. In the last three years, companies have been conducting an intensive promotion campaign, mainly targeting supermarket clients. «Ice cream today has a lot to do with technology,» says T. Koutsournas, Kri-Kri’s marketing director. «This business requires both large investments in technology and and huge amounts on advertising. It is a marketing-intensive business.» The second International Ice Cream Symposium is to be held in Thessaloniki from Wednesday to Friday.