We continue to hold the view that 2013 will largely be characterised by elevated unemployment (which hit a nine-year high at the end of 2012, reaching almost 15%), sluggish exports (dragged down by eurozone problems) and rushed legislative measures, which may further erode Slovakias competitiveness as a manufacturing location. Although inflation is expected to average no more than 3% over the year, consumers sights are already firmly set on low-cost and, increasingly, private-label items.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2013 per capita food consumption growth = +3.36% year-on-year (y-o-y); forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2017 = +3.93%
- 2013 alcoholic drinks sales growth = +3.54% y-o-y; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +3.99%
- 2013 soft drinks sales growth = +2.67% y-o-y; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +3.47%
- 2013 mass grocery retail growth = +4.60% y-o-y; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +5.39%
Key Company Trends
Private Label Products Continue To Expand In Slovakia: Research by Nielsen released in December 2012 showed that in 2011, private label products accounted for 49.3% of the salted snack market in Slovakia in volume terms, a slight decline of 0.7% y-o-y but an increase on the 2009 level. In terms of value sales, private labels accounted for 33.4% of the market. In the salted snacks category, dips recorded the strongest value and volume growth, with popcorn, salted nuts and other segments posting y-o-y declines.
New Legislation Requires More Transparency Regarding Product Origin: According to CEE Retail reports from February 2013, a bill has been passed by the Slovakian parliament that will require retailers with annual turnover of more than EUR10mn to provide information regarding the percentage of goods sourced domestically as opposed to imported. The bill stipulates that the information must be provided at the entrance to stores and on the retailers websites. Retailers will also be required to submit the same information to the Ministry of Agriculture two times per year. The new rules are seen as an attempt to support domestic production.
Risks To Outlook
External And Internal Environment Posing Risk To Forecasts: While the Slovakian government currently has no plans for drastic cost-cutting measures, they may be required given the fall in tax-based revenue stream. At the same time, exports will continue to struggle in the face of eurozone difficulties, dragging on overall growth, with the severity of the eurozone issue directly related to Slovakias economic performance.