Going Greek: More Consumers in Greece Buy Domestic, Generic Brands

ATHENS – Responding to inflation and supermarket prices rising out of reach many Greeks and households have turned toward buying generic store brands but also Greek products instead of those from international conglomerates.

That was according to an annual phone survey conducted in January by the Marketing Lab of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), using a random sample of 1880 households.

There was also a marked movement in support of products made in Greece, the survey found, with consumers shifting toward those to show solidarity with the domestic food industry and workers, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.

The survey found 68 percent of people blamed multinational companies for the high prices, the government earlier imposing multi-million dollar fines on them for profiteering and price gouging.

Another 24.2 percent said the supermarkets where they shopped were to blame and piling on by keeping prices high although inflation had eased and the government persuaded the market owners to create Household Baskets lowering prices for 51 basic goods.

Only 6.9 percent said Greek food manufacturers were at fault and 0.9 percent said small shops were also unfairly profiting with high prices. There was a split in opinion over whether the Household Basket had helped.

That found that 53.5 percent said it was a useful tool and that only 52.8 percent used it while shopping to pick up goods. Professor Giorgos Baltas told AMNA that private label products now represent 36 percent of what people buy, up 3 percent from 2023.

“This is the highest percentage ever recorded in the 19 years we have been conducting the survey…The  private label share of the basket of goods is well above 30% of the codes that go into the consumer basket,” he said.

The survey also showed a steady rise in the share of Greek products in the basket, Baltas said that, “Consumers’ preferences for products made in Greece were not affected by the negative climate of this period. This showed that Greek production is not a more expensive purchasing choice and preferences for it are resilient over time.”

Up to 81 percent said they now prefer Greek products over imported products and 66 percent believe there is a shift by consumers toward products made in Greece, and 89 percent want packaging to indicate whether a product is made in Greece.

Also, 65 percent believe that Greek products are safer and better quality, 93 percent believe that by choosing Greek products they support production in the country and 83 percent said choosing Greek products helps reduce unemployment.

Baltas said that the constantly rising pressure on household budgets since 2021 is changing purchasing habits, with 90.3 percent saying that they are struggling financially as a result of higher supermarket prices.

Consumers are turning to cheaper goods and restricting purchases, while half report that they buy only “absolutely essential” goods and one in 10 say that they cannot afford even the basics for now.


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