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Article: Preserved Fruit & Vegetable Market: GREECE - 12 Jan 2008
This CBI market survey gives exporters in developing countries information on the main developments in the preserved fruit and vegetables market in Greece. The information is complementary to the information provided in the CBI market survey ‘The preserved fruit and vegetables market in the EU’, which covers the EU in general. That survey also contains an overview and explanation of the selected products dealt with, some general remarks on the statistics used as well as information on other available documents for this sector. It can be downloaded from  

1. Market description: consumption and production

• In 2003, Greece’s consumption1 (industrial and consumer demand) of preserved fruit and vegetables, excluding edible nuts, was €567 million and 706 thousand tonnes (Prodcom 2006).

• Between 2001 and 2003, consumption grew by 30% in value and 25% in volume.

• Greece had a share of the EU market of only 2% and is therefore one of the smaller markets.

• Fruit juices and concentrates accounted for 66% of consumption, canned fruit and vegetables for 19%, jams, jellies and purees for 6%, frozen fruit and vegetables for 6%, and dried fruit and vegetables for 4%.

• Consumption of edible nuts amounted to 138 thousand tonnes in 2004 and increased by only 1% compared to 2001 (Food and Agricultural Organization – FAO -2006). Consumption per head was 12 kg and is one of the highest in the EU.

• In 2005, the Greek spent 15% of their household budget on food and non-alcoholic beverages, which is above the EU average of 12%.

• Fruit juices and concentrates and dried fruit and vegetables experienced an increase in consumption while all other product groups showed a decrease.


• In 2003, Greece’s production of preserved fruit juices and concentrates, excluding edible nuts, was €899 million and 1.1 million tonnes (Prodcom 2006). Greece accounted for 3% of total EU production.

• From 2001 to 2003, production remained stable in value but decreased 13% in volume.

• Canned fruit and vegetables constitute 49% of production, fruit juices and concentrates 36%, jams, jellies and purees, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables 5% each.

• In 2004, Greece’s production of edible nuts (mainly almonds and walnuts) amounted to 98 thousand tonnes, a decrease of 7% from 2001 (FAO 2006).

• Total turnover of the food and beverage industry in 2005 was €10.5 billion, which is 1% of the EU total (Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU – CIAA - 2007).


• Convenience is one of the most distinct trends in Greece and sales of easy-to-prepare food and canned ready-to-eat meals are increasing rapidly.

• Consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in Greece is one of the highest in the EU, reflecting the preference of fresh products over preserved fruit and vegetables.

1 Data on production in 2005 is not available. Therefore, apparent consumption cannot be calculated for 2005.  

Opportunities and threats

• Greece is a net exporter of preserved fruit and vegetables. However, Greece does have to rely on imports of especially edible nuts and dried fruit and vegetables, which provides opportunities for developing countries exporting such products.

• Greece has a medium-sized market which is not expected to grow much in the near future due to slow population growth. Main opportunities lie in the changing eating habits (more healthy) and product preferences.

Useful sources

• CIHEAM, International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies —

• Federation of Hellenic Food Industries —

2. Trade: imports and exports

• In 2005, Greek imports of preserved fruit and vegetables amounted to €311 million and 244 thousand tonnes (Eurostat 2006).

• Greece accounts for about 1% of EU imports of preserved fruit and vegetables and is therefore one of the smaller importers in the EU.

• Greece’s imports of preserved fruit and vegetables consisted of edible nuts (43% of total import value in 2005), canned fruit and vegetables (18%), fruit and vegetable juices (15%), dried fruit and vegetables (12%), frozen fruit and vegetables (10%), and jams, jellies and purees (2%).

• The USA is the main supplier with 19% of import value (mainly edible nuts), followed by Germany (14%, edible nuts and fruit juices and concentrates), Turkey (9%, edible nuts, dried and canned fruit and vegetables), and Italy (7%, canned fruit and vegetables and fruit juices and concentrates).

• From 2001 to 2005, total import value increased by 43%, while volume increased by only 3%.

• 28% of the import value in 2005 came from developing countries.

• The most important product groups imported from developing countries were edible nuts (37% of imports came from developing counties), canned fruit and vegetables (29%) and dried fruit and vegetables (38%).

• Other large suppliers among the developing countries, besides Turkey, were China (4% of total import value), India (3%) and Ukraine (2%).


• Greece exported €627 million and 651 thousand tonnes of preserved fruit and vegetables in 2005 (Eurostat 2006). Greece accounted for 4% of EU exports and is the number eight in the EU.

• Between 2001 and 2005, exports increased by 3% in value but decreased by 21% in volume. This was caused by a drop in the export volume of canned fruit and vegetables and a large increase in the value of edible nuts exports.

• Greek exports consisted of canned fruit and vegetables (74% of total export value in 2005), edible nuts (10%), dried fruit and vegetables (7%), frozen fruit and vegetables (5%), jams, jellies and purees (2%), and fruit juices and concentrates (2%)

• Germany is the main destination with 20% of the export value, followed by the United Kingdom (14%), USA (10%) and Italy (8%).

• Based on the import and export data, Greece is not an important re-exporter, but may re-export certain products in small volumes.

Opportunities and threats

• The Greek imports of fruit and vegetables from developing countries are growing. Most of the imported products are sold on the domestic market. Greece does not re-export preserved fruit and vegetables fruits or vegetables in large amounts.

• Eurostat – official statistical office of the EU —

• EU Expanding Exports Helpdesk —

Based on import trends, fruit juices and concentrates and canned fruit and vegetables offer the best opportunities for exporters from developing countries.

• Exporters that want to access the Greek market are advised to look also at those EU countries that supply preserved fruit and vegetables to Greece. Germany is the main trade partner that re-exports products from developing countries.

Useful sources
3. Trade structure

• The most important trade channels for exporters from developing are countries importers and agents.

• Information on importers and agents is available at the website of the Federation of Independent Commercial Agents Association (

• Many of the multi-national food companies that are mentioned in the CBI market survey ‘The preserved fruit and vegetables market in the EU’ are active in Greece. A list these and other companies in the Greek food industry can be found on the website of the Federation of Hellenic Food Industries —

• Food sales in Greece are mainly through large supermarkets and discount stores.

• The largest supermarket chains in Greece are:

o Carrefour —;

o A-B Vassilopoulos —;

o Sklavenitis;

o Veropoulos;

o Atlantik.

4. Prices

• Preserved fruit and vegetables are traded in the world market and, in general, national prices will not differ much from world market prices.

• If price differences exist, these are mostly due to differences in quality of the products.

• See the CBI market survey ‘The preserved fruit and vegetables market in the EU’ for more information on price levels of preserved fruit and vegetables in the EU.

5. Market access requirements

• Manufacturers in developing countries should be aware of the market access requirements of their trading partners and the Greek government. Requirements are specified through legislation and through labels, codes and management systems. These requirements are based on environmental, consumer health and safety and social concerns.

• For more information go to ‘Search CBI database’ at

• For preserved fruit and vegetables, a reduced value-added tax (VAT) rate of 9% is applicable.

6. Business practices
Information on doing business in Greece is available from the following sources:

• Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry —

• Federation of Independent Commercial Agents Association — for a list of trade shows in Greece.

This survey was compiled for CBI by Mercadero.
Disclaimer CBI market information tools:

Source: CBI Market Information Database • URL: • Contact:
Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI)

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