GERMANY, Berlin. Due to the Corona pandemic and the resulting restrictions, the German food industry saw a decline in sales last year.
The Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) estimates that revenue of 184.7 bn. € was generated across all subsectors, which would represent a slight decline of 0.3% compared to 2019. The key factor here was weaker foreign business. After a brief recovery in 2019, export sales were down 1.9% last year to an estimated 61.3 bn. €, according to the BVE. Domestic business, on the other hand, showed a slight increase of 0.4%, it said.
The collapse of sales in the out-of-home market, subdued consumer buying behavior, but also weak global demand in the export business, high levels of sick leave and, last but not least, the pressure on supply chains caused by the lockdown measures put companies to a tough test last year, explained BVE managing director Stefanie Sabet. Nevertheless, food manufacturers in Germany would continue to adhere to the goal of sustainable transformation of production. However, the Corona pandemic has made it clearer than ever that this transformation to greater sustainability can only succeed if it goes hand in hand with economic feasibility, Sabet stressed.
The German association also announced that the number of companies in the food industry increased last year despite Corona, rising 0.7% to 6,166. In contrast, the number of employees in this industry decreased in 2020, falling 0.2% to 617,484. In 2019, the industry had still recorded a 1.7% increase in employees.