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Hungarians keen on organic products

  Hungarians look for organic foods. (Image courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kkgas)
  Hungarians look for organic foods.
Hungary has a brace of "green" companies that produce organic foods such as fruit, pastries, jams and edible oils, with the environment and quality as top priorities.

Firms such as BioHungaricum, Biokal International, Biokontroll Hungária, Biopont, Denise and Sandy and Schmidt und Co are all contributing to a new trend for organic products that Hungarians are ready to embrace.

The problem is that there's too small a selection of products and those that appear on the store shelves are not cheap.

Hungary itself is a prodigious producer of so-called "bio" products, but these are oriented for export, particularly raw materials such as cereals and plants, said Viktor Németh, Executive Director of Biopont, a leading local distributor of organic and health products.

The most significant foreign markets for Hungarian organic products are Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Domestic demand is only increasing slowly because land devoted to organic crops is relatively small and prices are high where there are no economies of scale.

This is one of the reasons why the supply chain requires many imported products. In fact, land devoted to organic food has receded from 133,000 hectares six years ago to 122,000 over the past few years.

Annual domestic turnover at US$130 million

Németh, whose company has more than 300 products, said total annual turnover in Hungary's organic food sector is about US$130 million. Close to one third of sales is generated by hypermarkets and another third by drugstores.

Some 600 specialist food and herb stores have a share of 13% of the market, while supermarkets control 11%.

The rest of the market is shared by other sales channels, including wellness centres in hotels and specialist restaurants.

The products most in demand are vegetables, breads and drinks. Some 25% of customers of hypermarkets and supermarkets purchase some kind of bio products once a week, on average.

Most customers for organic foods are in the 25 to 45 age group and are typically women who are health conscious and open to novelties, new brands and fashions. Many are mothers with small children.

In addition, people with allergies or needing special diets are an important customer group. Those who are committed to environmental protection and vegetarians represent a closely identifiable group.

Udo Funke, Project Manager of NürnbergMesse said the world market for organic products exceeds US$50 billion annually. Close to half is represented by the US, while Europe had a share of approximately US$23 billion.

Kai Kreuzer, a bio market specialist with BioFach Messe, said the growing demand stimulates growth of new products on the market. As regards cultivated area Spain, is ahead in Europe with 1.3 million hectares.

from Beata Balazs, Budapest Consultant

(Image courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kkgas)

Tel: (36) 66-312-681
Fax: (36) 66-514-151
Email: szantosi.attila@biohungaricum.hu
Biokal International Kft
Tel: (36) 82-463-340
Fax: (36) 82-463-340
Email: info@naturbiokal.hu
Web: http://www.naturbiokal.hu
Biokontroll Hungária
Tel: (36) 1-336-1166, (36) 1-336-1167,
(36) 1-336-1122, (36) 1-336-1123
Fax: (36) 1-315-1123
Web: http://www.biokontroll.hu
Tel: (36) 1-242-1927, (36) 1-242-1952
Fax: (36) 1-436-0109
Email: biopont@biopont.com
Web: http://www.biopont.com
Denise and Sandy
Tel: (36) 1-215-0212
Fax: (36) 1-215-9537
NürnbergMesse GmbH
Tel: (49) 9-11-86-06-0
Fax: (49) 9-11-86-06-82-28
Web: http://www.biofach.de
Schmidt und Co Ltd
Tel: (36) 72-572-080
Fax: (36) 72-572-081, (36) 72-572-082
Email: info@schmidtundco.hu
Web: http://www.schmidtundco.hu

Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council
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