Butter is the main area competing with edible oils as it is both highly popular and traditional in Slovakia. However, rising butter prices resulted in many consumers shifting to much cheaper edible oils in 2017.
Cooking fat products like lard will continue to hamper growth within oils as they are increasingly perceived as being healthy and have a very long tradition of consumption in Slovakia, especially for frying meat. Even more importantly, Slovak consumers are eating out more, thus further limiting the future outlook for olive oil.
Olive oil sales fluctuated in 2018 as consumers increasingly opted for other edible oils, particularly healthy alternatives such as pumpkin, seed and coconut oil. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly popular to purchase olive oil abroad, such as in neighbouring Austria, or to bring home a bottle from holidays, thus making cross-border shopping an important trend, with consumers looking to get better quality for money.
Consumers are increasingly willing to accept higher prices for better product quality, although shopping during price promotions and discounts remained very popular in 2018. However, the popularity of price discounts is set to wane over the forecast period, with retailers looking to utilise either less significant or less frequent promotions for edible oils.
Marketing campaigns for trusted brands were increasingly visible in 2018 (eg Slovak Superbrands award). This helped make consumers more aware of traditional brands amid strengthening competition from imports, which are challenging local brands and manufacturers.
Product innovations will play an important role over the forecast period as local consumers become more demanding and sophisticated. In 2018, Raciol (Palma) introduced its Raciol Plus Vitamins, which contain Omega 3 and 6 acids and are fortified with Vitamins D and E.
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