Food & Beverage Industry in Greece

Automation & RoboticsIndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2014

Food and beverage is the most dynamic and high-growth sector in Greek manufacturing, accounting for 25% of turnover, 24% of employment, 25% of total invested capital, and almost 25% of added value. Foreign companies have experienced high rates of success in this sector since the Greek market has shown robust growth for almost a decade. In addition, Greece serves as an ideal bridge to the emerging markets of Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Growth in the sector averaged 20,6% during the last decade and food and beverage companies are the leading exporters in Greece, accounting for almost 20% of total export sales, with revenues of exceeding 2 billion Euro. The leading markets for Greece’s high-quality products include Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and the United States.

Many multinationals are enjoying the benefits of being based in Greece. Giants such as Nestle, Coca Cola, Kraft Foods, Barilla, Cadbury, General Mills, Friesland Campina and Athenian Brewery, manufacture a wide range of products and find that local and regional markets are receptive to new product lines as well as established favourites.

Greece’s food and beverage companies have created a large sales and distribution network in Southeast Europe, a strength that is reinforced by the dynamism of the Greek enterprises operating in the region. Topping the list of products exported are vegetables, fruits, olive oil, dairy products, fresh seafood, canned fruits, olives, raisins, wine, and tomato products.

There is abundant opportunity to create value added in many product categories, especially as the global interest in healthful foods, snack foods, and convenience foods continues to expand. Honey and nut based snacks, macaroni products, marmalades and pickled goods, as well as novel sea food and meat products demonstrate a significant potential in numerous markets. And as consumption of olive oil grows, Greece is ideally positioned to respond in this sector as it the third largest producer of olive oil in the world.

Advantages of Investing in Food and Beverage: low operating costs; abundant raw materials; EU production standards and regulations; access to the emerging growth markets of Southeast Europe where Greek F&B companies have developed an extensive production and distribution network; global trend to the Mediterranean diet; highly experienced and qualified labour force; familiarity of Greek consumers with international food products, brands and tastes.

Investment opportunities include boutique and niche market goods, the entire gamut of mass market items, products marketed as "Mediterranean," and the exploding organic food sector.
Specialty goods such as saffron of Kozani, mastiha from Chios, and spirulina as a nutritional supplement are being recognized for their superb quality. In addition, well-known products including ouzo, feta cheese, and Greek pistachios are establishing themselves in new markets worldwide.

Greece’s universities and research institutes focus heavily on providing assistance to the food and beverage industry. A number of highly specialised research centres assist manufacturers and processors in developing innovative solutions to meet the needs of today’s marketplace.

Success Story
Nestle Investing in Growth

Beginning in 1979, by producing bouillon cubes for local consumption, Nestle in Greece has expanded considerably. After investing significantly in the Greek market, Nestle today produces its Classic line of coffee along with Greek coffee under the Loumidis Papagalos brand. In addition, Nestle produces more than 90 million units of ice cream and bottles millions of litres of Korpi brand spring water. From Greece Nestle exports to Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Australia, and the Middle East.

Source: Investment and Trade Promotion Agency of Greece Enterprise Greece S.A., Nestle, Wikipedia,,