Greek F&B sector key driver of investment, export growth
An increasing number of Greek food & beverage companies are showcasing their products in America’s leading centers of gastronomy, underscoring the growing appreciation – and the growing role – of Greece’s agri-food sector internationally. At this month’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, more than four dozen leading Greek producers and regional organizations participated in the largest U.S. event devoted to specialty foods and beverages.
Long an important part of the Greek economy, Greece’s F&B industry has gained a newfound significance in the past decade driving export growth, boosting employment, and attracting record foreign investment. Greece’s agri-food sector now accounts for one third of total exports and 4.1% of GDP.
With worldwide recognition of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, combined with recent concerns about food security, the Greek agri-food sector is expected to see further gains. As it is, in the last decade, Greek F&B has been at the center of several headline mergers and acquisitions. These include the $2 billion acquisition of snack maker Chipita, the serial purchases of Greek food companies and investments by the CVC Capital Partners fund, and the restructuring and reorganization of Greece’s world leading aquaculture sector, among others.
According to a recent study by the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), a leading Greek think-tank, 28.5% of Greece’s manufacturing sector is engaged in the processing, manufacturing and packaging of Greek foods and beverages. Separate data from the Bank of Greece show that Greece’s food and beverage sector played an important role in attracting capital into manufacturing, accounting for 21% of inflows between 2019 and 2020.