The cost of milk in Greece increased 20% between January 2022 to February 2023, according to a report by the Hellenic Competition Commission. Through a detailed mapping of the sector the independent authority found that, specifically, prices rose from 1.04 to 1.25 euros per liter before VAT.

At the same time, more and more consumers are turning to what the Greek government calls the “household basket” to decide which milk to purchase. The household basket is comprised of 50 products which have had their prices “frozen” on a weekly basis as a buffer against inflationary pressures, in an effort to help consumers purchase essentials. Consumers purchased 16% of their milk through this means during the first month of implementation of the program (Nov 2022), which increased to 33% in December 2022 and to 31% in January 2023.

The mapping included 11 supermarkets that represent 95% of the market share and the objectives of the process were to analyze: (a)  the market shares of private labels (PL) and brands in the upstream supply market as well as the market shares in the supply market of supermarkets, (b) the effect of the mechanism of the household basket on PL and branded product prices, especially the price evolution of selected basket products before and after they are added to the basket, and in light of PL vs. branded products (where there are PL products) inside and outside the basket, (c) the effect of the basket mechanism on the purchasing habits of consumers, (d) the analysis of costs and profit margins.

The Competition Commission also notes that every stage of the value chain faced higher costs over the period. For example, farmers, producers and the retail sector had to deal with higher costs of feed for livestock, increased energy costs, and a decrease in human and animal capital. The cost analysis of the value chain for fresh cow’s milk was conducted by sending questionnaires to 4 manufacturing companies and 5 retailers (supermarkets) that are active in the production and sale of fresh cow’s milk. The retailers represent 78% of the food retail industry market and the 4 processors represent 37% of the Dairy Cheese industry.

The research on the milk sector conducted by the Competition Commission is part of greater efforts, announced last February 2023, to map the state of competitiveness in the following markets: laundry detergents, fresh whole milk, infant milk, cheese and yogurt derived from cow’s milk.

The official website of the Greek government which lists the products available as part of the household basket is available in Greek here.