ECONOMY

Coffee remains a Greek favorite despite price rises

The Greek coffee market grew last year by 4.1 percent, maintaining its firm presence as the beverage with the widest acceptance (85 percent), according to data presented yesterday by Nestle Hellas. The total coffee market is estimated at 22,755 tons. Greece is 13th in the world in consumption per capita with an average of 1.6 servings per day. In absolute numbers it lies second in the world in coffee consumption away from home. Greek coffee reigns over other categories, covering 51 percent of the market with sales of 11,640 tons and a 4.4 percent annual rise. Coffee roasters are strong players in this country as 36 percent of the market belongs to loose coffee; packaged coffee for domestic consumption accounts for 59 percent and the remaining 5 percent is for consumption at cafeterias. The instant coffee market, particularly strong in the summer, grew by 2 percent last year, dominated by Nestle with 79.9 percent and followed by Jacobs with 14.3 percent. Filter coffee turnover grew by 6.1 percent last year from 2004, reaching 2,664 tons. The market leader here is Kraft Jacobs Kronung with about 65.5 percent, followed by Sara Lee (9.2 percent) and Nestle (2.5 percent). The espresso market remains small (1,576 tons) but shows double-digit rise rates (up 16.1 percent last year). In this category there are about 150 brands, eight of which are present across the country and have an 80 percent share of the market between them. The two coffee types, Arabica and Robusta, have seen a massive rise in prices since 2000. Market representatives suggest that the price of Robusta has risen by 300 percent and that of Arabica by 250 percent. This has certainly affected the retail prices of coffee, estimated above 6 percent in Greece in some cases. The biggest coffee drinkers are the Finns, with 4.8 servings per day; Swedes are second (3.4 per day) and the Dutch third (2.8 per day). Nestle ice cream Coffee accounts for 49.9 percent of Nestle Hellas sales, followed now by ice cream. After the acquisition of Delta Ice Cream that still needs the nod of the Competition Commission, Nestle Hellas will invest an additional 40 million euros in the ice-cream market in the next five years, the company’s President and CEO Evangelos Kalousis said. The brand name will change after the first three years. The acquisition of Delta Ice Cream takes Nestle Hellas to the top of the local market; it aims to increase its share to 40 percent in the coming years.