Consumer Lifestyles in Hungary: A Comprehensive Insight

Consumer Lifestyles in Hungary: A Comprehensive Insight

    Growing consumer confidence in Hungary over the recent years has led to increased spending. This makes Hungary an excellent location if you are planning to establish your business in a new country – assuming your operation intersects current consumer lifestyle trends.

    Growing Share of eCommerce

    Online shopping has become more and more popular among consumers. Traditionally, the most bought products include electronics (household appliances, computers and accessories), presents and toys. Food delivery also has a heavy presence online. Upcoming segments are supermarkets and drugstores offering home delivery of food, healthcare items and cosmetics.

    You might want to consider whether you want to operate your own webshop in Hungary, or simply list your products in international online shops already popular here, like Alibaba, Amazon, or eBay. Either way, localizing your content, meaning product descriptions and promotional material will help steer customers in your way.

    Ethical Consumerism

    While price continues to be one of the most important factors in deciding in favor of a purchase, ethical considerations are also becoming more and more prominent, especially among young consumers – who might even drive acceptance of these ideas, and the popularity of corresponding products. These considerations may include purchasing local products, products not tested on animals, products with certificates of Fair Trade or Sustainable Palm Oil (or just products without palm oil), or products that decrease energy consumption. 

    The desire for sustainability and environmental awareness are more and more prevalent features of consumers. In line with this, cycling has gained popularity as a means of transportation, since it produces zero emissions while contributing to the fitness of cyclists. At the same time, e-mobility is also on the rise, with significant tax allowances for electric vehicles and the introduction of an electric scooter-sharing system in Budapest.

    Growing Popularity of Domestic Holidays

    Traveling shorter distances, excluding air travel, and supporting local businesses are all features of domestic holidays, so going on a vacation within Hungary is again in line with ethical consumerism. Spending holidays in Hungary is further encouraged by the current fringe benefit regulations, where employees may receive compensation above their salaries in so called “SZÉP vouchers”, which have limited utilization – including the coverage of travel and holiday accommodation within Hungary.

    Private Healthcare

    While healthcare in Hungary is supposed to be free and accessible for everyone, long waiting lists, especially in specialized care, steer more and more consumers towards private insurance schemes and private medical services, together with all connected businesses, including therapeutic appliances and visiting health resorts.

    Accommodation in Hungary

    Rental prices are on the rise, which makes property investment an excellent business in Hungary, especially in Budapest. Both in long-term and short-term rentals, real estate investments generate a stable income which, combined with the rising real estate prices, makes this kind of investment risk-free as well as lucrative. What’s more, the highly anticipated Hungarian Golden Visa program, set to start in the following months, will make foreigners who invest EUR500.000 in residential real estate eligible for 10-year residency in the EU.

    Business Operations in Hungary

    Should you want to start doing any kind of local trade, the easiest way is to set up a Hungarian LLC. This is the most popular company form because registration takes only 4-5 business days, and since it can be done with a POA, you must come to Hungary only once, for the company bank account opening – which is a major benefit if you are actively engaged in the management of other businesses. 

    The LLC form is also available for subsidiaries if you prefer that. Company formation is available to all nationalities, even without a local partner, while the EU VAT number generated immediately after incorporation lets you start international trading without a waiting period.

    If you plan on spending much time in Hungary, company operation also makes you eligible for residency in Hungary. In turn, your residence permit card can be used as a Schengen visa, which might come in handy if your country of origin is outside Europe.

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