Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: This could be a strong market for Wisconsin companies selling food and beverage products or offering technology to modernize Greece’s own food and beverage businesses.
The food and beverage industry accounts for a large portion of the economy in Greece—35% of the gross manufacturing revenue and about 40% of the manufacturing industry’s workforce. Food businesses in Greece employ around 130,000 people.
Nearly 10% of Greece’s imports in 2021 were food products, and they made up 14.7% of the country’s exports.
On average, Greeks spend about one-fourth of their income on food, especially meat, fruits and vegetables, flour and bread, dairy products and eggs. Organic products are gaining popularity. The tourism industry is another strong factor contributing to high spending levels on food and beverages, as Greece attracts about 7 million tourists each year.
Large companies dominate the Greek food and beverage market. Key players in the industry are Nitsiakos, Nestle Hellas, Hellenic Dairies, Soya Hellas and Pindos Agricultural Poultry Cooperative.
With a population of 10.6 million and a 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) of $216.4 billion, Greece’s economy is projected to continue on an upward trend. The GDP rose 8.3% in 2021, reversing the 8.2% decline in 2020 that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With its growing demand for manufacturing investments, updated technologies and organic food products, Greece offers many opportunities for food and beverage companies from Wisconsin, from joint ventures to acquisitions. Wisconsin companies could also provide capital to help Greek food businesses modernize their production systems and incorporate new, innovative technologies, allowing the partnerships to open new markets together.
For further insight into the Greek food industry, interested Wisconsin companies should consider attending Food Expo Greece, March 18-20, 2023, and FOODTECH 2023, November 11-13, 2023, both in Athens.