ECONOMY

Boost for ailing market

Greece’s breweries have launched price discounts and are introducing new products, such as premium beers, in a bid to maintain their share of a shrinking market. A drop in the number of tourists visiting Greece this year due to the economic crisis, along with changeable weather this summer have resulted in a 10 percent drop in beer sales. At present, breweries have launched special offers to attract consumers such as offering one can or bottle free of charge along with every five purchased. Despite the unfavorable market conditions, the Greek beer market is considered to be still developing with room for considerable further growth. One of the challenges facing the sector is to turn consumption of beer into a year-round habit rather than just during the warmer summer months. In Greece, 60 percent of sales are recorded between May and September. Additionally, beer consumption per capita in Greece is lower than in other European Union states. Greeks consume less than 40 liters of beer per year versus an average of 80 liters in Europe. Italy and France, along with Greece, are the only countries which consume less beer than the EU average. Athenian Brewery, which sells beers such as Heineken, Amstel and Alpha in Greece, controls 75 percent of the domestic market. Mythos Brewery comes in second place but at a distance with an 11 percent market share, according to industry data.