Croatian Christmas Period Consumption Down 20% in Pandemic-Hit Year?

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of December, 2020 – last year, Croatia’s residents spent a record 15.3 billion kuna during the festive period, but the ongoing coronavirus crisis has left its mark on Croatian Christmas consumer habits.

Although there is no estimate for what has been an absolutely dire 2020 yet, the specialised consulting company in the field of the agri-food sector, Smarter, estimates that the total consumption of food and beverages will fall by up to 20 percent in December, marking a significant change in the typical Croatian Christmas shopping spirit.

According to the latest data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, retail consumption in Croatia fell by 7.3 percent back in September when compared to the same month last year, with a decline in retail trade in food, beverages and tobacco products.

At the same time, they estimate better sales and the higher consumption of local Croatian products due to their continued good supply and higher production, which has since been confirmed by the estimate of growth in the value of Croatian agricultural production this year by about one billion kuna, helped along by the support of retail chains.

Smarter added that Croatian Christmas consumption in regard to festivities will be more modest than in previous years (two years ago the calculation of the average ”festive basket” stood at 2175.98 kuna), but the offer of Croatian products is better than it was before, and meat, fish, wine, fruit, vegetables and other food are being sold at special prices. Online sales also increased significantly (by 13.9 percent in the first half of 2020 according to the CBS).

“We’re convinced that the awareness of the need for a turnaround in the sector of agriculture and food production will be further developed and that Croatia will finally get a strategy that will revitalise this production on a sound basis,” concluded Smarter.

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