The Greek pet product market is seen by gabyion



Pet shops leading the market
T  he Greek pet product market is seen                                      be found.                              cat in Greece does not usually
                                                                                Research conducted in the          entail parting with money in the
   as dynamic and is growing at four to                                     past has shown that 25 per cent        official sense, because it results
six per cent per annum. For P&G                                             of families living in big cities       from the “adoption” of the big
                                                                            have a pet. Most of them have          number of stray cats or from a
manager Richard G. Pistori an indication                                    more than one pet and these            donation after a “family” breed.
that the market is in a transitional stage                                  households are most likely to               Talking to pet shop owners
trying to find its way.                                                     have more than two members. In         and dog importers reveals that
                                                                            other words, it is possible that a     the sale of pedigree dogs in
                                                                            couple will acquire a pet when         Greece is increasing at a rate of
     Inflation in Greece is running   habitants of big cities and their     they have one or two children.         12 per cent annually. Small
at around 3.5 per cent, almost 1      relationship with pets, which         Pets rank in order of popularity       breeds account for 60 per cent
per cent above the European           change from being “working” an-       with the Greeks as follows: dogs,      of this growth and medium-large
Union average. The country’s pop-     imals (dogs for guarding a flock      cats, birds, fish, turtles, hamsters   breeds for 40 per cent.
ulation is 11 million and growing.    of animals or cats for getting rid    and rabbits. The current dog and
The increase that is being ob-        of rodents) to becoming an inte-      cat populations are estimated at       Mentality of pet owners
served is due to economic mi-         gral part of the family.              1.1 - 1.2 mio dogs and 0.9 - 1.0
grants from eastern Europe and             Both these factors determine     mio cats.                                   The differences between cat
the Balkan states. One of the         the pet market in Greece in a sig-        Another Greek market trait         owners and dog owners with re-
main geographical traits of Greece    nificant way from the viewpoint       that differentiates Greece from        gard to the type of food (any kind of
is its huge number of islands,        of the cost/consumption of pet        many European countries is             brand or home-prepared), the tex-
and the biggest population in-        food and accessories, and at the      where pets are bought. In many         ture (dry or wet) and the purchase
crease compared with the rest of      same time these factors are im-       European countries, pedigree           location are quite important.
the country is in the islands. This   mediately related to the owner-       dogs or cats are mainly bought              Our analysis of dog and cat
is as a result of the greater         ship/possession of a pet. Ac-         through breeders. In Greece, pedi-     owners in the Greek market
tourism infrastructure and there-     cording to estimates, 55 per cent     gree pets are normally acquired        shows that in most cases cat
fore increased labour require-        of total expenditure on pets          through pet shops, which obtain        owners prefer a standard pack/
ment, but is also due to the mi-      (food, accessories, acquiring the     the pets through their own im-         ready-prepared food, because it
gratory tendency of people from       pet) is generated in Athens and       ports or – more commonly –             is easier to use and because of
other European member states          Thessaloniki, where the biggest       through importers. The acquisi-        its lower cost in comparison with
when they retire.                     concentration of companies with       tion of a cat differs from the sys-    dog food. But where do owners
     The first factor that has an     pet-market-related activities is to   tem outlined above. Acquiring a        purchase their pet food? Around
impact on the Greek pet market                                                                                     70 per cent of dog owners pur-
is the uneven geographical distri-    Sales (in tons) of dog and cat food                                          chase their food in pet shops
bution of its population. 38 per      with regard to sales channels                                                and 30 per cent in the supermar-
cent of the total population is                                                                                    ket. Cat owners prefer the super-
                                      (in per cent)
concentrated in the wider Attica                                                                                   market (60 per cent), while 40
region, while Thessaloniki ac-         Food                     Speciality channel       Grocery channel           per cent go to pet shops. This is
counts for 10 per cent. The sec-                                                         (feed and seed            because cat food does not ac-
ond factor is the “urbanization”                                                           stores incl.)           count for much volume of the
of the population. Here “urban-        Super-premium                  100 (100)                  0 (0)             weekly shopping “basket” and
ization” doesn’t mean the shift in     Premium                                                                     because of the great variety su-
population from the villages to        (medium priced)                 44 (44)                 56 (56)             permarkets offer with regard to
bigger cities, but rather the “men-    Standard                         81 (67)                19 (33)             flavours and one-portion packs
tality” and “attitude” developed       Total                           70 (60)                 30 (40)             (single serve) that are preferred
by second or third generation in-      Source: Industry
                                                                                                                   by cat owners.

48                                                                                                                         PET in Europe 11-12/2007
    Take a look at the ratio of dry            land, unsuitable product portfolio                    with more than one shop in their                    creasing its share in the pet mar-
to wet food: despite the fact that             of the biggest companies etc.).                       possession.                                         ket in comparison with the su-
there are no precise data for the                  The majority of pet shops                              We should mention here that                    permarkets. Nowadays there is a
Greek market, almost all compa-                emerged in 1990. The reasons                          feed and seed stores are shops                      pet shop in every Greek neigh-
nies agree that dry food appears               for this “bloom” of shops were                        that operate on the outskirts of                    bourhood. They offer not only a
to be the main option (65 per cent).           several: the owners’ aspirations                      big city centres or in rural areas,                 satisfactory range of products at
                                               to high financial gain, the pet                       and their main activity is the sup-                 all prices but also specialized
Pet retail in Greece                           trends, the pet owners’ need for                      ply of raw materials and medica-                    services such as grooming, dog
                                               quality products, the growth of                       ments for farmers and stock                         training, kennels, home delivery
    Looking at the multitude of                the organized wholesale trade,                        farmers (food for productive ani-                   and alimentary or any other ad-
independent wholesalers operat-                the increased number of pet                           mals, fertilizers, seeds etc.). De-                 vice, so maintaining a personal
ing in Greece leads to the initial             owners, etc. Nowadays in Greece                       spite all the above, they repre-                    relationship with the customer at
conclusion that the Greek market               there are approximately 2 700                         sent a very important element                       the same time. This specialized
has dynamism, a high growth                    points of sale for pet food and                       with regard to standard food for                    network makes profits and gains
rate and a substantial volume.                 accessories belonging to the                          pets and without these shops the                    market share due to its ability to
We believe that the answer lies in             speciality channel. These points                      relationship between the special-                   sell bulk dry food for dogs and
the Greek business mentality, in               of sale include a chain with                          ity channel and grocery channel                     cats (mostly standard pet food),
the assumption of risk against                 twelve “Pet City” shops (www.                         would change radically.                             thus increasing the frequency of
reasonable facts, as well as in                petcity. gr) which is the biggest                                                                         customers’ visits and the possi-
the special Greek geographical                 in the country, the buying group                      Speciality network                                  bility of increased spending on
features (difficult service in the             “Zoofilia” ( with                                                                         impulse buys during these visits.
islands, high cost of transporta-              franchised pet stores and ap-                             The speciality network is the                        The growth in this special-
tion in some areas of the main-                proximately 30 pet shop owners                        pet market leader in Greece, in-                    ized channel is influenced by a

Greek Wholesalers at a glance (based on a survey carried out by Dähne Verlag)
 Company               Access Group/ Vaos,     Leading Paws,             Lydia, Neo Psychiko        Pet-Vet Supplies/Man-    Petline,                 Pets & People,           Provet, Paleo
                       Spata                   Kallithea/Athens                                     takas, Iraklion/Athens   Paraskevi/Athens         Krioneri/Athens          Faliro/Athens
 Website           N.a.                      Under construction    N.a.
 Kinds of products     Dog and cat foods,      Pet food, accessories,    Pet food and acces-        Pet food, accessories,   Pet food, accessories,   Pet food and acces-      Pet food and acces-
 and brands.           accessories, groom-     litter, Snacks and feed   sories from Beaphar,       cosmetics, litter,       aquariums, veterinari-   sories from P&G Pet      sories from Hill’s,
                       ing products, veteri-   for rodents from          Bewital, JRS, Vitapol,     aquariums and phar-      an and pharmaceuti-      Care, Karlie, Schesir,   Ferplast, Tetra, Hydor
                       narian products and     Hunter, Techni-Cal,       Fop, Kaytee, Stefan-       maceuticals from Pro-    cal products from        Euro3plast and           and Witte Molen.
                       aquarium products       Proformance, Green-       plast, Royal Horse,        Pac, Sportmix, Flexi,    Nestlé Purina, Vi-       Cardinal Pet.
                       from Nutro, Trixie,     fields, La Normandise,    Astra, AK-Sand, 2GR        Pet-Mate, Bob Martin,    takraft, Sera, Juwel
                       Iv San Bernard, JBL,    Firstrax, Pestell,        Di Gobbi, Claus, Nek-      Hery, Armitages, Theo,   Aquarium, Petmate
                       Johnson’s and more.     Sherpa, Arovit, Henne     ton, Sisal Fibre, Lindo,   Sanicat, Pura, Hobbit    Pro (Doskocil), Rogz,
                                               and Bunny.                Foldhill, Teknofarma,      Alf, Marchioro,          Kong, United Pets,
                                                                         Vinci and IPTS.            Paragon, Gracious,       Petsafe, Europet,
                                                                                                    Kennel Aire, Juwel       Savic Idexx Labora-
                                                                                                    Aquarium, Dajana,        tories, Suburban
                                                                                                    Sacem, Zolux, Chemi-     Surgical and more.
                                                                                                    Vit, Vetoquinol and
 Own exclusive         N.a.                    No                        N.a.                       No                       “Ultra Menu”, own        “Cooky”, own brand of Pet food “Deli dog”
 products                                                                                                                    brand of dry and wet     standard dog & cat    and “Deli cat”.
 or brands.                                                                                                                  pet food.                food.
 Own facilities and    Own facilities          Own facilities in         Office in Neo Psychiko 3 000 m2 outside             Warehouse (3 000 m2) N.a.                         Own facilities located
 if so, location?      in Spata.               Athens.                   and warehouse          Athens.                      and offices                                       in Aspropirgos
                                                                         in Koropi area.                                     in Spata Attiki.
 Exporting own         Cyprus, Bulgaria,       No                        No                         No                       No.                      N.a.                     No
 products or brands?   Albania and former
 Major export          Yugoslav republic
 countries.            of Macedonia.
 Export portion of     12 per cent.            N.a.                      N.a.                       N.a.                     N.a.                     N.a.                     N.a.
 annual turnover?
 Who does the          Pet shops and           Pet shops, veterinary     Pet shops, veterinari-     All Greek pet shops,     Pet shops, wholesale,    Pet shops and            Speciality trade
 company supply?       veterinary clinics.     clinics and breeders.     ans and wholesale          some supermarket         veterinarians, agri      veterinary clinics.      with pet shops and
                                                                                                    chains and pet shop      stores and hunting                                veterinarians.
                                                                                                    chains.                  stores.

PET in Europe 11-12/2007                                                                                                                                                                            49

                                                                                   ● The pressure that the super-          basic element of these prod-
How Greek dogs and cats are fed
                                                                                     premium segment is facing             ucts, their seasonality.
(in per cent)
                                                                                     from medium-priced food re-        ● Instead of increasing retailers’
 Type of             Ready       Home                                                duces the total spending for          profit margins, the invasion of
                                                       Dry            Wet
 food               prepared    prepared                                             the super-premium category            accessories from China has
 Dog owners            65              35              65              35            and therefore reduces the             decreased total spending for
 Ccat owners           85              15              40              60            shop’s turnover.                      the category.
 Source: Industry
                                                                                   ● The competition of the “big             The growth rate of the market
                                                                                     players” in the market with        of 4-6 per cent annually, in the
                                                                                     “Money off” offers of 10 and       case of Greece at least, does not
very important factor of the spe-                 The sales results of compa-        15 € for long periods leads to     reflect a “mature” consummate
cialized market that is now high-           nies involved in the veterinary          partial depreciation of the cat-   market. We believe that it is an in-
ly pervasive. The big pet shops             channel demonstrate that, even           egory via the customers and        dication of a market that is in a
are a benchmark for Greek fami-             if their market share of this chan-      via the retailers.                 transitional stage trying to find
lies and a favourite destination of         nel is small, we are seeing a de-      ● Many “small” pet food im-          its way from the side of distribu-
children on Saturdays. Their                veloping market with dynamic             porters deluge the profit mar-     tors/wholesalers and from the
emergence functioned as a driv-             double-digit growth that will cer-       gins of the category.              side of retailers having complet-
ing force for the small business-           tainly change the landscape in         ● The “experimentation” of pet       ed a cycle and having detected
es in the market, making them               the speciality channel in the next       shop owners who annually de-       the need for further changes. ■
proceed with renovation of their            five years. The “education”/train-       vote part of their shop to sea-
shops, with enrichment of their             ing they provide through their           sonal product categories with
product ranges and the reactiva-            sales of super-premium food              “high” promising profit mar-                      Richard G. Pistori,
tion of their relationship with cus-        products to the final consumers/         gins without measuring the                            P&G Pet Care
tomers and suppliers under the              buyers, keeping them up-to-date
threat of the “big” shops.                  and certainly more loyal in spe-
     One of the most important              cific product categories, should
features that has seemed to                 be highlighted.
                                                                                   The number of outlets for the differ-
change within the speciality                      The current market trends        ent retail channels at a glance
channel in Greece is the proac-             and the growth potential of the
                                                                                    Speciality channel
tive attitude of vets in regard to          Greek pet food market are im-
the sale of pet products through            pressive: the dynamic double-           Pet shops                                         1 200
their clinics. They have started to         digit growth of imports and sales       Vet clinics with retail activity                    650
see sales of products not as an             of dogs, along with the opening         Feed & seed stores                                  800
element that depreciates their              of new pet shops, is not reflected      Total                                             2 650
“scientific status” but as an ad-           in the pet food and accessories
vantage over their competition.             market as expected. Some of the         Grocery channel
The sale of products at the clinics         reasons for this are as follows:        Hypermarkets                                         44
provides a reason for frequent              ● The gradual shift of customers
                                                                                    Supermarkets                                      4 000
visits by customers and an “in-                 from wet food to standard dry
                                                                                    Traditional food stores                          13 500
teresting” option for increasing                food, that is clearly lower-
                                                                                    Total                                           17 544
profits and at the same time de-                priced per kilo, reduces the to-
                                                                                    Source: Industry
creasing operational expenses.                  tal value of spending.

50                                                                                                                              PET in Europe 11-12/2007

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