Sweet spreads made a marginal recovery in 2019 following declines in both retail volume and current value terms the previous year. This improvement in growth rates was supported by the positive performances of the largest categories, jams and preserves, and chocolate spreads.
The performance of locally-produced jams and preserves is often dependent on the weather during the summer months; if the weather is particularly warm and not too wet, crops will produce plenty of fruit at affordable prices. However, this also has a negative influence as many Austrians also like to make their own jams and preserves at home, either by growing their own fruit or by being to buy cheaply-priced fruit from markets.
Media coverage regarding the high levels of sugar in packaged food is also having an impact on jams and preserves in Austria. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the high content of sugar that these products contain, while reports over additional sugar in packaged honey and chocolate spreads is also of concern, which has had a somewhat negative influence over the performance of these products with slowing or declining demand towards the end of the review period.
Sweet spreads remained a fairly consolidated competitive landscape in 2019, led by two large players, and a strong presence of private label due to products from Spar, Rewe and Hofer, as they continued to invest in greater sophistication and addressing the premiumisation trend by offering specific value such as reduced sugar, and using naturally healthy ingredients such as chia seeds or acai berries. However, Adolf Darbo retained its overall leadership due to its strength in the largest category of jams and preserves with its Darbo brand, in addition to honey.
Multinational Ferrero retained its second position in overall sweet spreads in 2019, continuing to benefit from the domination of its chocolate spreads brand Nutella. The brand is synonymous with chocolate spreads due to its long-standing presence in the category and in Austria, and is particularly popular with children, although adults also appreciate it to be eaten as a snack or for breakfast on bread or croissants.
Although nut and seed based spreads is likely to remain a niche within sweet spreads over the forecast period, it will continue to record good growth rates and is therefore attractive to smaller brands that may want to attract consumers who are searching for alternatives to traditional sweet spreads due to health concerns, or that address certain lifestyles such as vegetarians, due to its high protein content. The category continued to be led by Unilever’s Skippy brand, while private label lost value share due to second-ranked Hofer losing ground to Alnatura Macadamia Crème, although Billa, Merkur Immer Gut and Spar performed well.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.