Food, Beverages and Tobacco in Western Europe

January 2018

Europe is the world’s second largest food, beverage and tobacco producer and leading exporter globally. Western European producers are strongest in meat and dairy production, and are growing in importance in ready meals. Future output growth is expected to be subdued due to market maturity and growing competition globally. However, increasing trade with Asian countries and development of convenience foods will ensure growth for the region over 2017-2025.

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Western Europe producers to remain second globally

Western Europe is the world’s second largest food, beverage and tobacco producer and is forecast to grow moderately over 2016-2025. Western European producers are strongest in high quality meat, dairy and bakery sectors with significant growth recorded in ready-meal production. However, changing consumption patterns and rising production in countries in Asia Pacific, like India and Indonesia, may hinder growth in WE food exports.

Western Europe production growth hindered by declining German industry performance

Declining consumption of animal products in Western Europe will be one of the biggest influences on slower region growth. An anticipated decline in German meat and dairy production will contribute to slowing Western Europe’s performance. However, positive development in Spanish meat, vegetable oil and animal feed will outweight this negative effect.

Ready meal industry will outperform other sectors as demand grows

Changing consumer lifestyles are increasing demand for convenience foods globally, including in Western Europe. Producers in Ireland and Italy are benefiting from growing demand and are increasing production capacity. Coffee, tea, spices and ready meals are forecast to increase by a 1% CAGR to reach USD123 billion by 2025.

Traditional beer producers are losing status

Traditional beer types are losing popularity among consumers, who are tending to prefer small batch, unique craft beers. Brewers in Germany and the UK are experiencing hardship and need to reinvent their portfolios.

Trade development with Asia Pacific region will boost exports

Growing demand for meat and meat products in China, Japan and South Korea have helped Western Europe to develop new trade routes and ensure export stability.


Key findings

Production Outlook

Western European producers face increasing pressure from Asia Pacific
Declining demand for animal products slows industry development
Ready meals will demonstrate a stronger performance
Soft drink sector will drive beverage industry growth as beer output declines
Growing ready meal production will drive food industry growth
Meat and dairy remain pivotal in Western Europe’s food industry
Beer and soft drinks dominate Western European beverage production

Competitive Landscape

Large international corporations dominate food and beverage industries
Tobacco industry is dominated by a few international players
Large international corporations are responsible for majority of production

Foreign Trade

Region faces decline as demand changes and competition rises
Strong production with over-supply leads to low import value

Country Snapshots

Germany: Production context
Germany: Foreign trade landscape
France: Production context
France: Foreign trade landscape
Italy: Production context
Italy: Foreign trade landscape
Spain: Production context
Spain: Foreign trade landscape
UK: Production context
UK: Foreign trade landscape
Turkey: Production context
Turkey: Foreign trade landscape
Netherlands: Production context
Netherlands: Foreign trade landscape
Ireland: Production context
Ireland: Foreign trade landscape
Belgium: Production context
Belgium: Foreign trade landscape
Switzerland: Production context
Switzerland: Foreign trade landscape
Austria: Production context
Austria: Foreign trade landscape
Norway: Production context
Norway: Foreign trade landscape
Denmark: Production context
Denmark: Foreign trade landscape
Greece: Production context
Greece: Foreign trade landscape
Portugal: Production context
Portugal: Foreign trade landscape
Sweden: Production context
Sweden: Foreign trade landscape
Finland: Production context
Finland: Foreign trade landscape


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