Eastern Europe – Consumers Want Value for Money

Eastern Europe is expected to be the third fastest growing region for frozen processed food worldwide in 2013 in terms of volume sales. This makes it a very promising region with stable future growth potential, offering M&A opportunities for manufacturers looking to enter new markets.

According to Euromonitor International research, frozen processed food in Eastern Europe has experienced positive growth since recording a 9% average unit price decline back in 2009, which was when most Eastern European countries were hit by the credit crunch. The initial drop in prices, mostly thanks to intensified product discounting, made frozen processed food more affordable to consumers. Affordability and convenience remain the most important factors for consumers when it comes to purchasing frozen processed food. In Western Europe and the US there is a more developed eating out culture than in Eastern Europe, where consumers are more inclined towards preparing food at home. Such behavior and lifestyle point towards strong demand for convenience and a willingness to spend.

Currently, the weak purchasing power of consumers in Eastern Europe in the face of austerity means that they continue to be reluctant to spend money in restaurants (the foodservice channel recorded a CAGR of -3.2% over 2007-2012, using fixed exchange rates). Moreover, consumers in Eastern Europe are strongly influenced by the tradition for home meal preparation, usually making meals from scratch from basic ingredients. A...

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