Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Croatian Products Popular in Foreign Spar Stores in Italy, Hungary...

February the 8th, 2022 - There are quite a few Croatian products which have become much loved by foreign buyers shopping in Spar stores in the nearby European Union (EU) nations of Italy, Hungary and Slovenia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the fact that the Spar retail chain is an important partner for domestic producers and the placement of their products on the shelves of many other European Union countries is best evidenced by the fact that despite the global coronavirus pandemic which continued throughout 2021, Croatian products, ie their manufacturers, generated more than 106 million euros in turnover through the Spar sales network alone in the nearby countries of Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary.

The total turnover of Croatian products in Spar stores grew last year as well, which brought domestic producers an increase in revenue of as much as six million euros compared to 2020.

The biggest increase in terms of exports of Croatian products was recorded in Austria, where the first four exporters enjoyed as much as 40 percent higher revenue in 2021 compared to the record year of pre-pandemic 2019.

The data showed that the neighbouring Italians are loyal to Croatian products such as the much loved truffles and white cod, the Hungarians love Croatian ice cream and water, and the Slovenians have discovered Croatian dried meat products under the label Dobro (Good), which is sold by Zito, whose turnover in 2021 was twice as high as it was during the year before.

Although the list of major exporters is still dominated by large Croatian products and their producers such as Atlantic, Podravka, Cromaris, Dukat and Vindija, small producers include lip balms made by Vimi, Dobro and New Bakery, one of the largest European baklava factories, located in Donji Stupnik.

For more on Croatian products, producers, companies and exports, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Monday, 8 November 2021

Regulator Fines Spar Retailer HRK 1.3m for Unfair Trading Practice

ZAGREB, 8 Nov, 2021 - The Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN) said on Monday it fined the Spar retail chain HRK 1.3 million for an exceptionally serious infringement of the law prohibiting unfair trading practices in the food supply chain in the sale of a food product to end consumers.

After launching an administrative procedure ex officio following a supplier's complaint, the AZTN established that from 9 to 11 November 2018 Spar sold flour at a price below the procurement price, an infringement of the law punishable with up to HRK 5 million.

The AZTN said its fine against Spar was proportionate and that it was confident it would deter Spar as well as others to which the law applied from infringing it.

The AZTN also prohibited Spar from taking any further action concerning the fine.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.


Sunday, 5 April 2020

VIDEO: SPAR Cooperating With Sixty Small Croatian Producers

With imports and exports affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the argument for self-sufficiency has never been stronger. Owing to that, Konzum announced that it would cooperate with Croatian producers who usually sell their produce on now closed markets, and allow them to continue selling those products on the popular store's shelves. SPAR, another popular store in Croatia, has done the same.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of April, 2020, SPAR has so far cooperated with sixty new Croatian producers in the field of agriculture, as well as local farmers who are no longer able to sell their products on the market because of the measures put into place in Croatia to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

''In the first few days we bought salads, packaged tomatoes, leeks, chard, parsley, spinach and more from small producers and OPGs and secured their placement on the shelves of SPAR and INTERSPAR stores.

Through the Osatina distributor, we're also buying young onions from OPG Ivan Mrašić, OPG Špiranec Mladen, OPG Rasinec Ana, OPG Vedriš Ivica and OPG Veličan Damir. In addition, some products will be sold under our brand Gardens of Croatia (Vrtovi Hrvatske), such as Balog OPG beans, OPG Vesna Bašić apples, OPG Raos-Vrgorac garlic, and cauliflower and broccoli from the company Tlzit.

With this move, we're expanding our cooperation with a large number of our existing Croatian producers. We'd like to emphasise that a large number of them are operating under the Gardens of Croatia brand. We're proud that SPAR supermarkets and INTERSPAR hypermarkets are the stores with the most Croatian products in them,'' a statement from SPAR read.

If you understand Croatia, check out the SPAR YouTube channel for more information on buying fruit and vegetables from Croatian producers:

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, as well as lengthy scientific texts from eminent Croatian scientist Igor Rudan, make sure to follow our dedicated section.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Marinada, Supermarket Chains Helping Small Croatian Farmers

March 29, 2020 - The Croatian lockdown and market closures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus particularly affected Croatian farmers, who are no longer available to essential sales channels, thus endangering their livelihoods.

HRTurizam writes that didn’t take long, however, for various Facebook neighborhood, city, and county groups to emerge as online marketplaces that promote local OPGs and their offerings in one place and connect them directly with customers. Also, various IT companies have set up small webshops to assist Croatian farmers in order to facilitate communication and sales.

But since the beginning of the week, Marinada - a leading company in the region in the production, processing, buying and selling of fresh fruits and vegetables - has launched an action for small producers to help small-scale farms. 

Thus, Marinada is helping Croatian farmers get their products on the market.

"We are ready to respond by buying fruits and vegetables from agricultural producers, whether they are our subcontractors or not, standardize the product as much as possible and deliver it to the market," said Marinada owner Denis Matijevic.

Five days later, Marinada reported that the response was excellent and that they had communicated with over 100 producers so far, and 40 of them had cooperated. "For the time being, Swiss chard, lettuce and young onions have been bought, in the order of products that are now in season, and of course we are ready to buy whatever else comes in season," Matijevic points out.

Matijevic also added that in the current situation, it is necessary to take care of a safe and sufficient supply of population, which they do. “It is especially important to take care of small farmers who are now in challenging times. We must not let them stop working, because they are an important link for achieving self-sufficiency in the future,” Matijevic emphasized.

The company is headquartered in Slatina, one of the state-of-the-art pasteurized fruit and vegetable production facilities in the region, and small producers who want to market their merchandise are being asked to come to Marinada's shopping centers located in Virovitica, Varaždin, Donji Miholjac, Zagreb and Opuzen.

Contact Marinada HERE for full details on marketing your merchandise

At the same time, Marinada launched an initiative urging supermarket chains to do the same.

"The initiative was readily accepted by Konzum and SPAR retail chains, which will market these goods to customers, and others are expected to be involved, given the positive reactions," Matijevic concluded.

To further help small domestic farmers who can no longer sell their products at marketplaces, SPAR invites all small producers to contact them to ensure that their products are placed on the SPAR and INTERSPAR store shelves.

“Products from more than 40 small domestic producers and OPGs can be found on our shelves. In addition, we cooperate with small producers of fruits and vegetables through our brand "Croatian Gardens". We invite all small fruit and vegetable growers who can no longer market their products to contact us directly by calling 01 2410 900,” says SPAR.

Konzum will also open a much-needed sales channel to small domestic manufacturers after the markets closed.

"With this initiative, we are ready to offer our buying capacities and sales network to those who are not able to market their products," emphasized Konzum, adding: “Fruits and vegetables of Croatian origin already account for over 80 percent of turnover in that category in Konzum, and through the new initiative we are ready to offer our buying capacities and sales network to those who do not have the opportunity to market their products after the markets closed for domestic producers of fruits and vegetables. Citizens will soon be able to continue buying these products in Konzum stores all over Croatia.”

Interested farmers can contact distributors PIK Vinkovci, Marinada, and Fragarias who will buy and deliver to Konzum.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Croatian Producers Sell 74 Million Euro Worth of Products Through SPAR

ZAGREB, January 19, 2020 - Croatian producers sold 74 million euro worth of products through the SPAR retail chain in Italy, Hungary, Austria and Slovenia in 2019, which is 5% more than in 2018, SPAR Croatia said in a statement this past week.

The largest increase in sales was recorded in Italy.

It was not just large companies, but also medium-sized and small businesses that successfully marketed their products through SPAR's retail network.

Among the large producers were the food company Vindija, the aquaculture company Cromaris, confectioner Kraš and the hygienic products company Logistika Violeta.

Vindija increased its exports to Slovenia by 16%, Cromaris' exports to Austria and Slovenia rose by 13% and 17% respectively, Kras saw its exports to Slovenia grow by 3%, while Logistika Violeta increased its exports to Austria by 19%.

Small and medium-sized enterprises also recorded increased exports.

Prosciutto producer Pršut Voštane recorded an increase in exports to Slovenia of as much as 62%, while the Ekos bakery chain saw its exports rise nearly fourfold. Pisinium, a company that makes premium truffle sausages, increased its exports to Slovenia by 95%, while the Zigante Tartufi company's exports to Italy rose by 14%.

More business news can be found in the dedicated section.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Shopping in Slovenia or Croatia - Which Country Pays Off?

Croatia's infamous VAT is throwing prices around much more than one might expect at first when shopping in Lidl or Spar. Just how does your weekly shop in Croatia compare to a weekly shop in neighbouring Slovenia?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of March, 2019, when taking a walk through six Slovenian and Croatian shops, it didn't take long to realise that retailers are struggling with their own branded goods, which are already sold at relatively low prices, and they could actually save well on them.

The popular Italian retail chain Eurospin, known for its discount prices, hasn't yet opened its doors in Croatia, but it can be revealed that the retail companty is indeed looking for locations for its stores across the country. It also has its own website in Croatian language on which the following has been published: "Still a little more patience ... We're coming."

A group of 24sata journalists from Croatia visited their store in Laško in neighbouring Slovenia to check if their prices really are lower than their competitors, and what prices were in comparison to the Croatian market.

They selected a basket of fourteen different products and compared then - Eurospin was cheaper than the first competitor in Slovenia by just a few lipa.

They also compared the prices in Slovenian stores with those in Croatia - some shopping baskets are very much the same, and the difference between the cheapest Slovenian product and the most expensive Croatian one is 22 kuna. However, it should be borne in mind that Slovenians have two tax rates applied when it comes to retail - 22 and 9.5 percent, and they also have a lower VAT rate (surprise, surprise) than is applied in Croatia, of 25 and 13 percent.

Eurospin appears very similar to the already popular Lidl.

When comparing the cheapest Slovenian and cheapest Croatian basket, the difference is 10.82 kuna. There were, as stated, forteen different products in the basket. When looking around on February the 25th of this year, the group of Croatian journalists visited the popular Slovenian shops including Eurospin, Lidl, Spar, and Mercator, the majority owner of which is Croatia's formerly ailing Agrokor.

They tried to find the cheapest products (flour, oil, butter...). When comparing detergents and softeners, they looked for products that were cheaper per litre, regardless of the size of the packaging, ie, whether the product volume is one, two, four litres...

Their cart showed that Eurospin was actually slightly more expensive than Croatia's beloved Lidl, at least on that day - by 2.30 kuna, Spar was cheaper by 3.60 kuna, and Mercator was cheaper by a not so insignificant 21.53 kuna.

Eurospin and Lidl have been shown to have relatively similar prices, and according to their trade concept, each reminds one of the other. Spar, which had the biggest store in Laško, had similar and sometimes identical prices as those in Eurospin. Only Mercator was considerably more expensive than the others, but their overall offer, just like at Spar, was much richer than that of Lidl and Eurospin.

The Italian discount store, just like Lidl, often only offers its own brands on it shelves, or products made by only one manufacturer - for example, only one type of oil, one type of sugar, one type of flour, etc.

The 24sata journalists compared the products purchased over in Slovenia to those in Lidl and Spar in Zagreb the following day, once again searching for the cheapest of all.

The most expensive shopping basket in Zagreb was from Lidl and it was 13.67 kuna more expensive than Eurospin in Slovenia. Let's remember, it should be taken into account that VAT in Croatia is higher certainly has a big influence over Croatian prices. The cheapest basket was from Spar in Zagreb, but when compared to Eurospin in Slovenia, it was still more expensive - by 8.52 kuna.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business page.


Click here for the original article by Ivancica Ladisic and Katarina Dimitrijevic Hrnjkas for 24sata

Friday, 28 December 2018

SPAR Croatia Reducing Prices of Many Products on January 1st 2019

An announcement from one well-frequented store, SPAR Croatia, will likely bring a smile to the faces of many, as prices are set to be slashed next month.

The Christmas spirit might be warm and fuzzy in stark contrast to the cold winter weather, but the consequences of eating, drinking and being merry (along with the need to buy more and more expensive presents), often leave our wallets feeling much thinner even if we've definitely grown, and I don't mean upwards.

Thankfully, January is a quiet, although boring month. Not much happens and for very many, it is the month of trying to earn back at least a portion of what was spent when under the soft yet somewhat deceptive blanket of December's glittery Christmas cheer. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of December, 2018, SPAR Croatia has issued a very welcome announcement which guarantees that as of the 1st of January, 2019, the prices of more than 1,500 products that can be found on the popular shop's shelves will be reduced by more than 9.6 percent.

SPAR Croatia will lower its product prices according to the Croatian Government's decision to reduce VAT on fresh meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and baby diapers from 25 percent to 13 percent.

"We welcome the efforts of the Croatian Government, which, by deciding on tax relief, will further assist Croatian citizens as well as the Croatian economy. With our price reductions, SPAR Croatia supports this move by bringing the price of what is in the shopping baskets of citizens down,'' stated Helmut Fenzl, CEO of SPAR Croatia.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news page for everything you need to know about what's going on up and down the country, from cultural events to live performances, down to tax cuts, business ventures and the latest political scandal.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Domestic Produce All The More Popular, Big Chances for Small Producers

Retail chains have been pointing out the more than promising growth of Croatian products.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

SPAR Invests 66 Million Kuna, Opens 60 Work Positions in New Supermarket

The new SPAR spans more than 2,000 square metres, has a garage boasting 69 parking spaces, and all customers are provided with free parking.

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