Your company is already operating in Germany and you would now like to export worldwide?

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 over 6,000 companies, generating a production value of around EUR 180 billion in 2018.
  • Exports of processed foods and agricultural commodities generated sales of EUR 71.5 billion in 2018, making Germany the third largest exporter of food and beverages worldwide.
  • Largest sector sub-segments in 2018: Meat (23.7%), Dairy (15.1%), Baked Goods (9.7%), and Confectionery & Long-Life Bakery Products (7.6%).
  • 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) More Information

Gerhard Berssenbrügge, Former Chief Executive Officer* | Nestlé Germany AG

Gerhard Berssenbrügge, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Germany AG Gerhard Berssenbrügge, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Germany AG | © Nestlé Germany AG/GTAI

“We deliberately chose Germany and Schwerin for the construction of our third coffee capsule factory. The decisive factors were the favorable geographical location, the close proximity to the world's largest coffee-trading center Hamburg, the ease of access to northern Europe as well as the high density of skilled workers in the region.” (*2014)

Market | Industrial Infrastructure

With around 83 million inhabitants, Germany represents a very receptive market for national and international food & beverage products. Its excellent geographical position (with access to all European markets) and its technological leadership make Germany the best point of entrance to the European food & beverage market. Demand for functional foods alone has established Germany as a European leader, with the organic food segment experiencing a growth of 5.5 percent in sales reaching almost EUR 11 billion in 2018. Thanks to the unbeatable popularity of German products abroad, the industry is expected to maintain its steep growth curve in the years ahead.

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.

Germany offers a particularly positive market environment for producers of food ingredients and additives of almost all kinds. The size of the industry paralleled by evolving consumer needs and growing exports lead to a vibrant demand for new ingredients and formulations incl. e.g. flavors, sweeteners, stabilizers, emulsifier or fragrances. As most products are used across various sub-segments of the industry, the market and investment potential is tremendous and even likely to increase in the future.

Production Value of the German Food & Beverage Industry by Segment 2018 (in percent) | Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, 2017_2018
Production Value of the German Food & Beverage Industry by Segment 2018 (in percent) | Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, 2017_2018 | © Production Value of the German Food & Beverage Industry by Segment 2018 (in percent) | Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, 2017_2018

Market | Trends

Recent consumer trends have, above all, been influenced by a number of far-reaching changes in society. An aging population is fueling the demand for health & wellness as well as functional food products to prevent or overcome conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. Two-thirds of all Germans see a direct link between nutrition and health.

The movement towards organic food products has long since achieved mainstream status in Germany. More and more consumers are seeking to improve their sense of well-being, health, and even their performance levels through the consumption of functional food products. An increasingly fast-paced society and the rising number of single households is driving demand for highly convenient foods including ready-to-eat meals, frozen foods, desserts, and baked goods.

Other trends include the sales of fair trade products, such as coffee and fruit juices, which tripled to more than 1.6 billion euro between 2012 to 2018. Ethnic foods, beauty foods, and “free of” foods (e.g. lactose and gluten-free products) are further trends currently finding favor with Germany’s increasingly discerning consumer base.

Development of Food Retail Sales in Germany by Segment (2017/2018, change in percent) | GfK/Statista, 2019
Development of Food Retail Sales in Germany by Segment (2017/2018, change in percent) | GfK/Statista, 2019 | © Development of Food Retail Sales in Germany by Segment (2017/2018, change in percent) | GfK/Statista, 2019

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.

R&D and innovation spending in the German food & beverage industry is expected to reach EUR 3 billion in 2019. Product innovations account for 15 percent of total annual sales of the German food & beverages market. 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.

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 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.

go to top

Log in

Please log in on this page with your log-in details.