As the economic downturn continued through 2012, the Greek pet care market declined in both value and volume terms over the course of the year.
The declines accelerated in value terms as a result of the rising demand for cheaper products at the expense of premium brands. Dog food performed better overall than cat food as a result of cat ownership declining at a faster rate.
Dog ownership was only marginally affected by the economic crisis as the need for companionship intensified among the Greek population as many cash-strapped Greeks can no longer afford to go out or meet with friends on a regular basis.
With disposable incomes being squeezed dry and many of Greece's hard-pressed consumers forced to cut down on spending across the board, it comes as no surprise that the pet humanisation trend has begun to subside.
The economic crisis hit the country at a point when the pet humanisation trend had already started to gain momentum.
According to a recent market report, 'Pet Care in Greece,' pet shops and pet superstores are still the channels which offer the widest ranges of pet care products and these channels also have the competitive advantage of being able to offer specialist advice, something which is particularly highly valued as Greek pet owners are slowly reducing their numbers of visits to veterinarians.
Although a number of domestic companies produce dog and cat food, namely Th Nitsiakos ABEE, Viozois SA and Laky SA, pet food in Greece remains dominated by imported products.
This can be partly attributed to high brand awareness as no domestic pet food manufacturer has yet managed to establish a strong brand name or widespread distribution.
Another reason for low value shares of domestic players in pet food is that most of them focus on economy products, whereas premium brands were the main beneficiaries of the rise of the pet humanisation trend over the course of the past few years.
For more information on the Greek pet care market, see the latest research: Greek Pet Care Market
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