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Production of bread Production of bread | © Eric Gevaert -

Food & Beverage Industry

Supplying the Full Spectrum of Consumer Needs

Few industries are as broad as the food & beverage industry, but Germany does well on all fronts: confectionery, convenience, frozen, and chilled foods.

Our market - Europe's largest - brings almost every international food player here; everyone wants a taste. This strength is only expected to improve as consumption trends and the good reputation of our products promise higher future sales. For investors, the time is ripe. A mainly fragmented industry allows overseas investors access to the market, its distribution channels, and its technological capabilities.

Video News: Germany's Growing Market for Meatless

The trend toward veganism and vegetarianism is creating tons of business opportunities for international companies with a presence in the country.

Meatless on More and More German Menus

With increasing numbers of people turning partially or completely vegetarian and vegan, the plant-based food market is expanding rapidly in Germany. International companies like Switzerland’s Planted are taking advantage.

Food and Beverages News | November 2022

Germany's food and beverages sector continues to attract fresh investment from international investors keen to expand into a highly diversified and lucrative market.

Austrian companies invest in Baruth

Austrian drinks giant Red Bull and fruit juice producer Rauch have rescued Brandenburger Urstromquelle in Baruth from closure, thereby securing the future of around 300 jobs in the region. The two companies have announced an agreement in principle on the takeover and continuation of production at the site with Altmühltaler Mineralbrunnen, the current owners of Brandenburger Urstromquelle, who had previously announced plans to close the production plant this year. The takeover has been welcomed by Brandenburg Minister of Economic Affairs Prof. Dr.–Ing. Jörg Steinbach and Economic Development Agency Brandenburg CEO Dr. Steffen Kammradt as a “strong settlement success for Brandenburg as a business location.” The alliance between Red Bull and Rauch sees a new strong player in the region and underpins Austria’s position as one of the top three international investor countries in the federal state.

French investor to take over mineral water plant in Jessen

A French investor is seeking to take over the former site of an insolvent mineral water producer in the city of Jessen in Saxony-Anhalt. According to reports, the French company plans to invest up to EUR 50 million in a state-of-the-art production facility at the site. Two new bottling lines will run from April of next year, producing 400 million bottles of Jessen mineral water for a number of suppliers annually. The planned investment will create around 60 new jobs.

Newrest moves into German in-flight catering market

Multisector catering specialist Newrest has announced plans to invest EU 10 million to establish inflight catering units in Berlin and Frankfurt (Main). The company has signed lucrative deals with EasyJet, China Airlines, Air Astana, LATAM Chile Airlines, and Egypt Air. The group also has plans to establish additional inflight catering units in Munich and Hamburg in 2023 as part of its expansion into the German market. Germany Trade & Invest provided consultancy and investment support services to Newrest in their German market expansion plans.

New logistics centers for Dutch online supermarket company Picnic

Dutch food delivery service provider Picnic is developing two new logistics properties in Kaltenkirchen north of Hamburg and in Falkensee near Berlin. The proposed 46,000 sqm development at both sites will support the online supermarket’s growth into the German market.  The new building will be equipped with 24 dock levelers and four ground-level sectional doors. Parking spaces for 106 cars and eight trucks are planned for the outside area with sustainability safeguarded through energy-saving LED lighting and photovoltaic systems for energy generation. Completion of the Kaltenkirchen site is scheduled for July 2023. The new building in Falkensee will be equipped with 20 ramp gates and four ground-level gates. In addition, cold storage and deep-freeze rooms will be integrated in the hall area to enable temperature-controlled foodstuffs to be stored professionally in compliance with all specifications. Parking spaces for 144 vehicles will be created in the outside area. Continued investment in modern logistics centers and hundreds of last-mile properties will see the company expand into all regions in Germany beyond Berlin and Hamburg.

Vion introduces “demand” supply programs tailored to meet regional meat tastes

Dutch-German meat group Vion is responding to the lower supply of slaughtered animals and declining consumption by establishing demand-oriented regional programs for retailers. The move will see around EUR 50 million invested in setting up demand-driven balanced supply chains in eastern Germany and Bavaria. Vion is looking to take advantage of the trend towards regional produce – particularly in eastern Germany – in order to offset a fall in pork consumption and rising costs. The group has commissioned nine fully automated case-ready lines for the production of prepackaged fresh beef and pork products. Five of the new lines will be operated in Altenburg in eastern Germany, with the remaining four lines set to increase capacity at the Großosteheim site in Bavaria. The step will see the two sites establish themselves as a direct link between production and retail as Vion seeks to consolidate its position as a strong food retail partner.

Nestlé and Pfenning Logistik celebrate logistics center groundbreaking ceremony in Mecklar

Nestlé and Pfenning Logistik celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the “Multicube Osthessen” logstics center in Mecklar in July. As the principal tenant at the new site, Nestlé  is expected to supply consumers with products from its coffee, chocolate, cereals, and Nestlé Professional ranges. The Swiss giant hopes to reduce freight mileage by up to 30 percent and meet the company climate goals - reducing supply chain emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and net zero by 2050 - by locating to the centrally located site. The Multicube Osthessen is being built on a 220,000 sqm site in two construction phases.

Latest Publication

The Food & Beverage Industry in Germany The Food & Beverage Industry in Germany | © GTAI

The Food & Beverage Industry in Germany

The German food and beverage market offers business opportunities on all fronts, because it's highly receptive to new cultural influences and culinary trends.

Our Industry in Numbers

  • Germany is Europe's largest food producer and the food & beverage industry represents the fourth largest industry sector in Germany.
  • The industry is best characterized by its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector of almost 6,000 companies. They generated production value of around EUR 220 billion in 2022.
  • Exports of processed foods and agricultural commodities generated sales of EUR 76.6 billion in 2022 - making Germany the third largest exporter of food and beverages worldwide.
  • Largest sector subsegments in 2022: Meat (21.5%), Dairy (17.1%), Baked Goods (9.1%), and Confectionery & Long-Life Bakery Products (7.4%).
  • Germany is home to major national and international players including the Dr. Oetker Group, Südzucker, Arla, Mondelēz Deutschland, Nestlé, Cargill, and many more.

Testimonials to Success

Mehmet Er, Managing Director | Tadim Deutschland GmbH

Mehmet Er, Managing Director Tadim Deutschland GmbH Mehmet Er, Managing Director Tadim Deutschland GmbH | © Tadim Deutschland GmbH/GTAI

"Tadim has made a significant move by investing in Germany. We are confident that it will prove to be a value-adding one because of Germany's attractiveness as a production location and the optimal logistics for serving international markets. To this end, we particularly liked Emsdetten because of its central location. We hope to expand our market position in Europe as well as just in Germany and we are already processing and distributing to neighbouring countries." (2016)

Market | Industrial Infrastructure

Like most if not all business sectors worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukrane has affected the food and beverages industry in Germany and its global supply chains. Nevertheless, with more than 84 million inhabitants, Germany represents a highly receptive market for national and international food and beverage products. Its excellent geographical position (with access to all European markets) and its technological leadership make Germany an ideal point of entrance to the European food and beverage market.

Fragmentation in the existing food & beverage industry landscape means that barriers to entry in the German market are negligible. In addition, the presence of numerous companies along the entire food-processing value chain makes it easy for newcomers to find suppliers, distributors, and other valuable partners.

Market | Trends

Recent consumer trends have been influenced by a number of far-reaching changes in the business environment. During the Covid-19 pandemic, most if not all food retailers increased their sales - essentially at the cost of the food service sector. Home cooking enjoyed new heights and consumers paid greater attention to quality and sustainability. Sales of organic foods skyrocketed, with online sale of food also becoming very popular. Since the start of the war in Ukraine in early 2022, prices for certain food commodities and ingredients have increased globally and fueled inflation. Meat and dairy products in particular have become more expensive, with consumers tending to buy more often at discounters or substitute animal products with vegetarian or vegan alternatives.

The movement towards organic food products has long since achieved mainstream status in Germany, with retail sales exceeding EUR 15 billion in 2022 (+25 percent compared to 2019).Another popular food trend is the move to vegetarian or vegan meat and dairy alternatives. Sales grew by more than 42 percent between 2020 and 2022 and reached almost EUR 2 billion - the second highest per capita share in Europe (EUR 23). Fair trade

products - including coffee and fruit juices - grew by 11 percent in 2022 and reached turnover of 2.36 billion.

Personnel | R&D

Germany has a large pool of highly qualified and motivated employees and offers competitive labor costs compared to both western and eastern Europe.

Numerous well-known universities and public and private research institutes help companies in the food & beverage industry research, develop, and swiftly bring new and innovative products to market. By the end of 2023, the German Federal government ist about to outline a holistic new food and nutrition strategy, which will create investment opportunities. The idea is to promote healthier, more resource-efficient, plant-based diets in the population, Elements will also include a growing share of organic food products grown and processed in Germany in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry and contribute to a more sustainable economy.

Marc Rohr Marc Rohr | © GTAI/Illing & Vossbeck Fotografie

"Germany is Europe’s largest food & beverage market and a superb location for exports."

Marc Rohr | Director Digital & Service Industries

Incentives | Physical Infrastructure | Stable Investment Environment

Germany offers numerous incentives for all investors - regardless of country of origin. There are a large selection of programs available designed to support a wide variety of business activities at different stages of the investment process. Support ranges from cash incentives for the reimbursement of direct investment costs to incentives for labor and R&D.
We offer an extensive and comprehensive logistics infrastructure that integrates state-of-the-art transportation networks with the most modern telematics, IT, and telecommunications systems.

Social, economic, and political stability provide a solid base for your investment projects. Our judiciary and civil services are highly professional. Contractual agreements are secure and intellectual property is strictly protected in Germany.

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