Fast food sector gaining ground, survey says

The fast food sector in Greece has positive outlook, as an intense pace of daily life, especially in big cities, the reduction of free time, the increasing number of single-member households and the entry of women into the labor market, are the main factors that drive demand for fast food higher, IELKA (the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods) said in a survey.

The annual survey of IELKA, based on a sample of 2,000 consumers from across the country, highlights the important and profound changes currently underway of the Greek consumer and records consumers’ views on important issues around food markets. As is clear from the findings of the survey, although the main meals cooked at home are the mainstream -with growing importance as recorded in recent years- new trends appeared with regard to supplementary meals.

Buying a ready meal from supermarkets, following international trends, is gaining ground in Greece and compete with other fast food options, IELKA said.

The restaurant business, despite a 40 pct reduction during the economic recession years, continues to be an important market with the average household spending about 125 euros (1,500 per year) creating a market of more than 6.5 billion euros. A large part of this market is the fast food and food-to-go.

In the future, significant investments are expected from large supermarket chains in many different markets which represent an opportunity for further growth for the industry.

As recorded in the IELKA consumer survey, the majority of consumers buy at very high rates these six specific food categories. Specifically, ready coffee 87 pct, sweets and snacks 85 pct, cheese croissant 85 pct, ready cold meals – salad – sandwiches 70 pct, ready-cooked food 63 pct and frozen ready meal 51 pct.

The main ready meal outlets are supermarkets, bakeries, restaurants, cafes and shops delivery.