Over the review period, sales of ready meals continued to be threatened by the relatively low prices of meals offered in the foodservice industry: restaurants, hotels etc. Compared to the European average, Croatia has always offered favourable value for money when dining out.
With all the variants and combinations seen in ready meals, those packed in tin cans still prevail. Being the first and, for years, the only format of ready meals available, shelf stable ready meals in cans still enjoy the first mover advantage and have a loyal consumer base.
Croatian ready meals does not seem eager to fill every possible type: for instance, dinner mixes and all chilled types of ready meals are not properly represented on retail shelves. The product portfolio on offer in ready meals is rather narrow.
Although the number of meal solution combinations in low in Croatia, this does not mean that the number of manufacturers is low; in fact, the competitive landscape is fragmented, with only one visible leading player protruding from the crowd. Podravka dd, a leading domestic packaged food company, has been established the longest and retains its position despite slowly losing value share.
There are a significant number of local companies besides Podravka dd which offer similar products within shelf stable ready meals. They make up the bulk of total sales of ready meals, basing their offer entirely on shelf stable ready meals.
Despite their small production quantities, local manufacturers manage to keep their prices low, directly threatening other economy players, particularly private label. Consumers maintain a reasonably high level of brand loyalty and will always opt for a known local brand over private label of uncertain origin.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.