Sunday, 17 January 2021

Price Most Important Factor for Croatian Consumers When Choosing Food

ZAGREB, 17 January, 2021 - The basic criterion for Croatian consumers when choosing food is price, followed by safety, while origin is in the 6th place, the Smarter consulting company said on Tuesday in a statement on the survey of European consumers' attitudes published in December 2020 by the European Commission.

The survey has shown that for 54% of Croatian respondents price was the most important criterion when choosing food, and Croatia is one of 17 European countries whose consumers consider this factor one of the three most important.

The origin of food ranked sixth among the ten criteria for choosing food as every third respondent in Croatia (32%) opted for it.

Croatian food processing companies must realise that regardless of food quality, it has to be produced at competitive prices, at least as long as price is the primary factor for the Croatian consumer when choosing food, Smarter said in an analysis of the survey results.

Food safety another important criterion for Croatian consumers

Food safety is the second most important criterion for Croatian consumers (50%), which shows consumers' awareness of the importance of that component but can also be a consequence of frequent cases of food not meeting safety standards on the Croatian market, Smarter said.

Food taste was ranked third by Croatian consumers, with only 37% of respondents using that criterion as the main one when choosing food, and it is followed by the expiry date (35%).

This criterion, Smarter said, also places Croatia among four European countries with the highest percentage of consumers considering it one of the most important criteria. These are mostly countries that joined the EU later (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania), and more than a third of respondents in those countries underscored the importance of that criterion when choosing food.

The nutritional composition of food is the fifth most important criterion for Croatian consumers when choosing food (34%), and according to Smarter, that piece of information could be important to domestic food producers.

Despite the prevalent opinion that the origin of food is important to domestic consumers, according to the survey, it is the 6th criterion out of ten when buying food in Croatia, Smarter said.

They think that such a result (32%) can be disappointing, especially when compared to Slovenia or Denmark, where choosing a domestic product is the most important criterion for 57% and 43% of consumers respectively.

The survey of European consumers' attitudes was conducted in August and September 2020 with the aim of determining consumers' attitudes towards and expectations of long-term sustainability of food production in the EU.

In Croatia, the survey was conducted on a sample of 1,019 respondents, using the "face to face" interview method.

Asked about the main elements affecting their decision to buy food, European consumers cited food taste as their first criterion, food safety was ranked second and the cost of food (price) was ranked above the sustainability of its production.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Cabbage Production Stable in Croatia

ZAGREB, November 15, 2020  - The production of cabbage in Croatia is stable, the market is supplied with sufficient amounts of this vegetable, and the corona crisis has led to a price drop this year, according to an analysis conducted by the Smarter consultancy firm.

This year's cabbage crop can satisfy the needs on the domestic market, and 2020 has been perceived as a favourable year for cabbage growing, says Smarter.

On the other hand, the epidemic of coronavirus has prevented holding of events and gatherings, such as wedding parties and other private parties with many guests, and has also affected the hospitality industry, and consequently the demand for cabbage has dropped and its price has also fallen, as a result.

The latest data provided by the Agriculture Market Information System (TISUP) shows that at the end of October the price of kilo of cabbage was HRK 3.66 as against 4.99 kuna in the corresponding period last year.

In 2019, Croatia's cabbage crop was 31,580 tonnes and it was grown on 1,463 hectares.

Record high export

 At the end of 2019, Croatia registered a record high amount of exported cabbage, over 2,000 tonnes, and the value of the export was above a million euros.

Last year, the imports reached 6,148 tonnes, worth 3.3 million euros.

The top market for the export of Croatian cabbage is Slovenia which imported 1,600 tonnes of this vegetable grown in Croatia, and paid 800,000 euros for that last year.

The largest quantity of the imported cabbage, 1,646 tonnes at the total price of over a million euro, arrived in Croatia from Macedonia last year. The  cabbage imports from the Netherlands totalled 1,476 tonnes (€870,000).

The biggest cabbage growers in Croatia are in northwestern areas (Varazdin, Koprivnica and Ogulin) as well as in the southern town of Sinj.

The average annual consumption per capita in Croatia is 11 kilograms.

The "Varazdinsko Zelje" cabbage, grown in Varazdin, and fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) from the western town of Ogulin enjoy a protected status in the EU.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Croatia Boasts Great Farming Potential

ZAGREB, November 1, 2020 - Croatia's farming sector has great potential and for exploiting all those possibilities for growth it is necessary to ensure transfer of new know-how and technologies and to build processing capacities, the Smarter company has said.

The most important export plant in the farming sector, maize, was sown on 258,000 hectares of land this year, and the average yield per hectare is 8.8 tonnes this season. As a result, this year's harvest of this cereal will come to 2.27 million tonnes.

The drop in cattle breeding has also reduced demand for maize, and consequently, the area sown with maize has shrunk over the last ten years by 18%. However, the better yield has reduced the decline in the amount of harvested maize.

When it comes to this cereal and yield per hectare, Croatia has been above the EU average in the last three years. It is now on par with France, however it is still far from Austria where the maize yield is 12 tonnes per hectare, says Smarter.


Croatia's sunflower and soybean production above EU average

When it comes to sunflower, Croatia tops the EU ranking in terms of the yield of this crop in the last five years. In the country, the best sunflower growers have a yield of 4.5 tonnes per hectare.

Also, Croatia's sunflower production is competitive and it can benefit from exporting this crop.

Considering soybean production, in 2012, Croatian soybean growers harvested a mere 97,000 tonnes of this crop. However, the European project called "Danube-Soya" and grants for GMO-free soybean production have provided an incentive to the production of this crop, and in the last three years, its production was over 240,000 tonnes a year.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Croatia's Plum Production Falling, Imports Rising

ZAGREB, Aug 26, 2020 - Plums are increasingly in demand in the EU, however, Croatia's results in growing this fruit oscillate, as plum growing is often affected by weather conditions as it was this year, hence imported plums are dominating the market, an analysis by the Smarter consulting company said on Wednesday.

According to Smarter, which specializes in agriculture and food industry consulting, problems in the production of plums over the past few years have led to many large producers backing out of this business.

Croatia's plum production has recorded significant oscillations in recent years, Smarter underscored, supporting its claims with figures saying that in 2018, a record high 14,487 tonnes were produced whereas in 2014 just over 8,000 tonnes were produced.

This year due to poor weather conditions, the plum crop is expected to be quite bad, Smarter said and added that currently, the offer for plums is good however "the market is dominated by imported plums."

Smarter added that Serbia produces about 500,000 tonnes of plums annually and Bosnia and Herzegovina's plum crop is between 150,000- 200,000 tonnes. Romania too produces about 500,000 tonnes of plum annually and in 2018 its plum crop was a record high, 830,000 tonnes.

Data from the State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) indicate that back in 2008, Croatia produced 48,614 tonnes of plums with more than 32,000 being for its own needs through extensive cultivation while in 2019 production was only 9,403 tonnes," Smater's Miroslav Kuskunovic said.

According to official data, plums are cultivated on 4,500 hectares mostly in Slavonia and Baranja.

Last year 2,535 tonnes of fresh plums were imported with a value of €1.5 million while the country exported 845 tonnes for only €540,000.

Most imported plums came from Serbia (913 tonnes), Moldova (619 tonnes), North Macedonia (427 tonnes) while last year Croatia export 389 tonnes of plums and 57 tonnes of prunes.

At the same time, Croatia imported almost one thousand tonnes of prunes valued at €2 million, two-thirds of which were imported from Chile and Serbia.

Smarter underscored that European analyses indicate that the plum is one of the fruits with the most prospects for exporting in Europe and its market value in the EU exceeds €300 million.

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