The Aegean gastronomy is gaining ground

Sales of the category of restaurants certified as Aegean Cuisine, showed an upward trend with significant growth rates in the last four years. In particular, in the period 2015-2018, it is estimated that it increased at an average annual rate of 17%, despite the uncertainty that prevailed in the country due to the increase in VAT on catering (second half of 2015).

This emerges from one of the two sectoral studies prepared for the promotion and promotion of products and services in the Cyclades and especially in the catering and beverage sectors. The studies were prepared in the framework of the action “Actions to promote and strengthen the brand name of eligible products and / or services of Greece and Cyprus in the cross-border area (Go Brand) – 2.4.1.”.

The main goal and pursuit of the project is the promotion and promotion of the brand name of the products and services in the Cyclades and within the framework of the project, 2 clusters were created. The Aegean Cuisine cluster and the Cycladic Wine cluster, which participated in the TUTTO FOOD international food fair, which took place from 6 to 9 May in Milan, Italy, where representatives of the beneficiaries of the Act with the acronym Go Brand and their companies 10 cooperative formations (clusters) promoted in the best possible way the high quality products produced in Cyprus, Crete, the Dodecanese, the Cyclades and Chios.

In addition, two industry studies were prepared, one for Aegean Cuisine and one for local drinks, which are already posted on the portal of the Cyclades Chamber: while in a short time in the meantime, an event will be held to present their results.

A branch study for Aegean Cuisine restaurants

The object of the study is the promotion and promotion of the “brand name” of the cluster Aegean Cuisine of Cyclades, in which catering companies of the prefecture of Cyclades participate, which meet specific criteria and quality specifications, the fulfillment of which ensures that products, goods or services which they offer reflect and highlight the special gastronomic identity of the Aegean.

In this context, basic elements of the local cuisine and the geographical area in which they operate are described, while at the same time the requirements and specifications for the operation of the Aegean Cuisine restaurants, the current institutional framework, as well as their special characteristics are presented. At the same time, the main factors that affect the demand for the examined services are captured and analyzed, while the size of the catering market is assessed both domestically and locally.

According to the study, in 2018, the total market value amounted to approximately 24 million euros (retail prices), increased by 14.3% compared to 2017. Of these, 14 million euros are estimated to be related to restaurant sales Aegean Cuisine in the Cyclades, while the remaining 10 million euros in the Dodecanese. It is noted that the upward trend of the market is largely due to the continuous expansion of the Aegean Cuisine network, whose members have been growing steadily in recent years.

Sectoral study for Local Drinks

The Cyclades are a complex of islands with a long tradition in drinks (wine, beer, suma). With the aim of highlighting the rich wine gastronomy of the Aegean and the promotion of locally produced products, the Cyclades Local Drinks initiative was developed.

In total, the companies (wineries, wine producers – breweries – suma producers) dealing with the examined products, amount to more than 70 (in more than 20 Cycladic islands), with the majority being located in the islands of Santorini, Tinos and Paros.

Sales of local drinks (in value) in the Cyclades have fallen over time in recent years and are estimated to have stabilized at the level of 6.8 million euros (at wholesale prices) in the two years 2017-2018.

This size shows signs of stabilization in recent years, a fact that is attributed to the upward trend of tourism, especially in the South Aegean region.

Sales (in value) of wine, beer and suma in the Cyclades are estimated at 4 million euros, 2.8 million euros and 48.7 thousand euros respectively. Especially for suma it is estimated that it ranges at very low levels and its consumption is limited to some Cycladic islands and other islands of the North Aegean (eg Rhodes, Chios).

The direct correlation of the revenues of the examined companies with the tourist traffic highlights the positive prospects of the market in the near future, while at the same time it is the main axis of the strategy with the aim of its development and promotion abroad.

Promotion and promotion actions 

In order for Aegean Cuisine member companies to enhance their visibility and upgrade their position, it is estimated that they can focus on the following practices:

-Thorough investigation of the markets from which the potential customers come, examining the political, economic and social environment that applies to them. It is also useful to conduct market research.

-Creation of a “branded” business cluster, with a recognizable distinctive logo and products (long-term branding strategy).

Exploitation of the advantages provided by the internet, through the design and construction of a website in which, among other things, there will be the possibility of information on the geographical location of member companies and the services / products offered.

-Development of strategic partnerships and alliances with similar companies in order to expand the network and with companies in the supply chain (eg major tour operators in Greece and abroad, food and beverage producers, etc.) in order to coordinate the exploitation of the tourist flow to Greece. , expanding the clientele, automating processes and cost savings.

-Establishment of a management chain of the supply chain (logistics) of the Cycladic gastronomic products and exploitation of the production structures and the transport network (ports, railways, etc).

-Creation and maintenance of trained inter-business centers in order to provide consulting services and the design of joint marketing, logistics, IT, product certification and vocational training activities.

-Assistance and support of the public sector, as well as the various sectoral, local and cooperative bodies and associations.

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