Italy and Germany, united by food
Germany is the most important partner for Italy in terms of agri-food exports. Of the 38 billion euros in total (a record number reached in 2016), about two-thirds pertain to the European Union with 6.2 billion going to Germany, the top destination for “Made in Italy” in the food industry, with about an 18% in market share. The numbers testify to the fact that Italy’s exports are doing very well in Germany, and this could also be seen in the number of Italian companies at Anuga (Oct. 7-11) in Cologne, the largest international trade show dedicated to this industry. This year, foodcommunity.it took part in the show as well.
“Italy is the most represented country at Anuga, with more than 1,100 exhibitors,” explained Thomas Rosolia, CEO of Koelnmesse Italia, to MAG. “The German show is a worldwide platform that allows us to make contacts with the large foreign buyers interested in Italian food. For the small and mid-sized companies from our country, this is the perfect place to understand the market and the potential destinations for their business.”
In 2016, the agri-business trade between Italy and Germany saw a surplus of 1.7 billion euros, with 6.2 billion in exports and 4.5 billion in imports. The most popular food products exported to Germany include:
Fruit and vegetables for 1.5 billion euros (up 2.58%) on 2015, wine with 978 million (up 1.7%), preserves and vegetable juice with 638 million (up 2.3%), prepared meats with 606 million (up 7.2%), confectionary products with 458 million euros (up 12.4%) and dairy products with 453 million euros (up 1.1%).
The strong relationship between Italy and Germany in the food industry “can also be seen in important agreements on the institutional level,” explains Rosolia, “like the agreement between Anuga and Cibus, the international food show created by the new Koeln-Parma exhibition company.” With a strategic alliance extended to Federalimentare and the Ice government agency, the objective is to accompany Italian companies to international markets in order to increase the presence of our products.
A great deal of attention is also being paid to “Italian-sounding” products (a phenomenon that has a negative economic impact of 54 billion euros), to educate consumers on the difference between original Italian food products and counterfeit ones. This is why a commission was set up during the show to monitor the products at the event and hear complaints from exhibitors whose products had been copied.
Finally, Anuga was an opportunity to understand more about the most important global food trends, as per data provided by BVLH, the association for the German retail grocery trade. Sustainable products (organic, vegan and fair trade) are in first place, followed by the growth in regional gourmet products as well as digitalization.
Consumers also want as much information as possible about food ingredients and production. An increasing number of companies are working to reduce the use of sugar in the making of all kinds of foods and beverages.