Tissue and Hygiene in Greece

Tissue and hygiene products display negative value growth

In line with the extensive use of promotional activities and discounts, initiated both by manufacturers and retailers, tissue and hygiene products sales displayed negative value growth once again in 2014. The recession resulted in fierce competition and this put great pressure upon retailers and manufacturers to keep prices competitive in order to prevent volume sales from declining or consumers migrating to private label. Buy-one-get-one-free, money off stickers and other activities proved successful in keeping volume sales from seeing steep declines, although they had a negative impact upon value as well as brand loyalty.

Demographics have a diverse impact on tissue and hygiene

Greece has an ageing population and, whereas this creates good growth potential for incontinence products, its impact upon other tissue and hygiene products is detrimental. With an ageing population and very low birth rate, growth for nappies/diapers/pants is hindered, while the consumer base for sanitary protection products is also in decline. In the recession the number of households is shrinking as well and this results in limited growth potential for tissue products.

Private label growth hindered by promotional activities in branded products

Although the value share of private label rapidly increased during the review period with consumers trading down in order to save money, this trend subsided in 2014. Private label growth slowed down substantially, and in some categories private label sales even started to decline. In view of aggressive promotional activities in supermarkets, the price gap between branded products and private label is no longer significant while, especially in tissue, high penetration is yet another obstacle to private label growth.

Hypermarkets continues to lose share in 2014

The share of hypermarkets in the distribution of tissue and hygiene products declined in 2014 as a result of Greeks opting for smaller retailers located in residential areas. Carrefour continues to use an aggressive promotional activities strategy to attract footfall, yet this was not enough to generate growth. With the economic turmoil consumers avoid shopping in bulk, opting instead for more regular visits to the supermarket to buy what is necessary; this trend favoured supermarkets and discounters at the expense of hypermarkets.

Maturity and demographics will hinder volume growth over the forecast period

With birth rates declining, migration abroad among Greeks youngsters intensifying and the number of households not anticipated to grow significantly, the growth potential for tissue and hygiene products will be hindered by maturity. Penetration rates are already very high in most categories, and this will be an obstacle to the industry gaining sales in the years to follow. At the same time, demographic trends are not favourable to most product types, given that the consumer base for tissue and most hygiene product types is set to shrink in the years to come.

Source: Euromonitor

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