Analytics, Baltic, Estonia, Markets and Companies, Retail

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 13.08.2020, 03:49

Survey: Baltic consumers wish for local food to be cheaper

BC, Tallinn, 18.09.2019.Print version
Residents in the three Baltic countries attach a lot of value to a broad selection of local foodstuffs in stores and wish for locally produced food to be more favorably priced, a survey commissioned by retailer Rimi indicates citing LETA/BNS.

A better price was considered to be important by 51.4% of Estonians, 39.7% of Latvians and 55.1% of Lithuanians. Almost half of respondents considered it important that retailers continue expanding the offering of local food products. 

"More and more foodstuffs of Estonian origin are being bought, but Estonians continue to be rather price-sensitive," said Rimi Eesti manager Vaido Padumae.  

As an example of price sensitivity, Padumae cited a recent attempt by the retailer to make buyers in Estonia notice organically produced eggs.

"We raised organic eggs to the most prominent place in our display of eggs, but clients just wouldn't reach for them more often -- the price difference with battery-cage eggs is not unreasonably big, but for many customers each euro saved is important," he said. 

The manager of Rimi Eesti described lowering the value-added tax (VAT) on locally produced food as one possible way of improving the situation.

"In Estonia VAT on food is among the highest in Europe. VAT on food is higher still than in Estonia only in Lithuania and Denmark,"    Padumae said. He said that in some countries, such as Britain, no VAT at all is levied on foodstuffs.

The survey of consumer preferences was conducted by market research company RAIT by interviewing a sample of 1,020 people of ages 18 to 65 from each of the three countries.

Rimi Eesti Food AS belongs to the Rimi Baltic AB retail chain, a part of Sweden's ICA Gruppen. Rimi Baltic AB owns a total of 266 stores in the Baltics and employs some 2,700 people in Estonia.

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