Greek households cut spending on groceries because of the economic crisis

Greek households cut spending on groceries because of the economic crisis, although groceries spending as a percentage of total household spending grew, a survey by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA) said on Monday.

IELKA said the results of a household budget report by Hellenic Statistical Authority for 2015, recently released, added to the findings of similar surveys by IELKA on the prevailing situation in food consumption in Greece.

Monthly spending by households on groceries goods fell by 16.3 pct in the 2009-2015 period, while spending on food fell by 12.5 pct over the same period. In 2009, an average household spent 444 euros on groceries goods per month, while in 2015 spending was 371 euros.

Spending on groceries, food and restaurants fell 23.4 pct in the 2009-2015 period, with the exception of 2010 when spending on groceries grew. In all other years, spending fell by 0.6-6.3 pct annually.

However, although spending on groceries fell in value, spending as a percentage of total household purchased grew, from 21.5 pct in 2010 to 26.2 pct in 2015, an increase of 4.7 pct.

A big part of a reduction in spending accounted to offers and discounts offered by suppliers, while another significant part accounted to a change in consumer habits towards cheaper and alternative products, smaller packages and exploiting private lable products.

The survey showed that nine out of 10 consumers saved money through offers, while an average weighed saving was 11.2 pct.

Average monthly saving through offers surpassed 25 euros per household, or 300 euros annually.

In 2010, average monthly spending in supermarkets was 250 euros, falling to 220 euros in 2015. For 2016, analysts expect a slight decline in groceries spending, although smaller compared with 2015. The officials expect sales in the September-December period this year to fall compared with the same period in 2015, with supermarket sales expecting to decline 2.4 pct on average, for a decline in household spending by around 1.9 pct.