All4Pack

About the food sector

Published on - updated on

KEY FIGURES

European food sector (SOURCE: Data & Trends of the European Food and Drink Industry)

  • Turnover: €1,244 billion, leading industrial sector in the EU (2013)
  • 4,2 million employees, leading employment sector in the EU (2013)
  • 289 000 companies (2013)
  • Export: €91.7 billion and €27.6 billion gross operating surplus (2014)

French food sector (Source: Ania)

  • Turnover: €170 billion, €183 billion with commercial artisans (2015)
  • 16 218 companies, of which 98% very small and SMEs (2015)
  • 440,926 jobs (2015)
  • 21% of turnover, 4th global exporter, behind the USA, Germany and the Netherlands (2015)

ECONOMIC BACKGROUND

In 2015, Allied Research Market predicted that the global market of packaged food and drinks would reach USD3,030 billion in 2020, with average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 4.5% between 2015 and 2020. The most buoyant markets are nonalcoholic beverages and baby food. The market with the highest demand is Asia-Pacific, which is set to grow 5.4% per year during the period.

In 2016, however, Euromonitor lowered its own growth forecasts for the global packaged food market from 2.5 to 2.3% for the 2015-2020 period, due to the slow-down of emerging markets and especially Brazil.

Globally, the worldwide food system is gaining in complexity, as shown by the «Vigie Alimentation 2015» study by Futuribles International, which identifies ten major trends. Among the deep-set trends in relation to consumption are the supremacy of large groups and international food brands, the domination of superstores in retail and the concentration of mass retail in Europe. Emerging trends include: the rooting of organic production and popularity for local products and short circuits, also known as «locavore consumption».

These trends give rise to tension in the food system between globalisation and relocalisation, or between long circuits and short circuits, between industrial farming and agroecology, or between a supply approach (farmers, food industry) and a demand approach (consumers, citizens). But divisions could fundamentally change the balance, such as new sources of protein (insects, algae or micro- organisms), 3D food printing, or digitally-assisted food.

The turnover of the European food industry amounted to €1,244 billion in 2014, of which 20% from the meat industry, followed by beverages (14%), dairy products (11%) and bakery and flour products (11%). These industries together with multi-product industries represent over 80% of employees and companies in the sector.

In France, food industries represent 19.9% of the French manufacturing industry (7.1% in Germany at €193 billion and 15.1% in the United Kingdom at €114 billion). As the leading French manufacturing industry, the food industry recorded turnover of €170 billion in 2015, but the ANIA (National association of food industries) specifies that December 2015 is the 30th consecutive month of deflation for all consumer products (-1.2% in 2014 and -1.1% in 2015).

The profit margin of the French food industry is at its lowest level in 40 years and the consequences are having impacts on investments. Between the forecasts of July 2015 (+9%) and the results of January 2016 (-7%), investment in the food industry has been reviewed downwards 16 points. Despite low interest rates, reduced crude oil prices, food raw material prices – which are indeed volatile, but on the decline –, the profitability of the French food industry is falling behind compared to other sectors.

Companies are concentrating their efforts on exports (21% of the sector’s turnover and €8.1 billion trade surplus) and innovation, including:

  • technological innovation (44% of companieswhich covers product and process innovations (production, logistics);
  • packaging / design innovation (43% of the food industry compared to 21% for the other industrial sectors).

SECTOR CHALLENGES RELATING TO PACKAGING

  • To fight waste and manage expiry dates, the French Ministry for Agriculture is promoting the Minimum Durability Date, and its German counterpart wants to remove dates completely in favour of a chip that would indicate the state of freshness of food according to a colour scale. The food industry is implementing new food conservation technologies, packaging with optimised recycling rates, in formats closely adjusted to consumption and retail modes and to nutritional needs, divisible into portions, re-sealable, active (anti-microbial or anti-oxidant components), interactive or intelligent packaging. Something to monitor: the French secretary of state in charge of reform wants to create a label for easy-open packaging.
  • Food e-commerce by pure players is developing in France with the Amazon on-line grocery and drink store which lists 34,000 references and with Cdiscount, associated with Franprix (Casino group) and its 4,000  references. This development and that of click and collect, growing demand for ready-to-use food, the  ageing market population, the 20% of single parent households, the trend for snacking and food on-the-go are all elements which segment the French food market. Industrial groups are responding with practical, easy-use, healthy and secure packaging. Something to monitor: the work of the DG for Health and Consumer Protection on a specific migration limit (SML) of BPA based on the principle of precaution.
  • Inspired by world gastronomy, brands are experimenting with vibrant colours in advertising that combines technical quality and natural origin, with new designs and even origami to create unique experiences linked to packaging and to secure support on social networks, which have become advertising channels. After the QR code and augmented reality: welcome to digital, connecting, communicating and personalised packaging thanks to NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth and digital printing!
  • The European regulation Inco provides the possibility to voluntarily affix on packaging a graphic system providing information on the nutritional quality of food. In France, the Anses (agency for the health security of food) has assessed two systems: the 5-C system developed by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and the SENS (Système d’Etiquetage Nutritionnel Simplifié - Simplified Food Labelling System) system put forward by the FCD (Federation of Commerce and Distribution). Both systems converge and shall be tested in real life conditions in the second half of 2016.
  • The French law on energy transition of 31st March 2016 forbids distribution at the check-out of disposable bags which are less than 50 microns in thickness (excluding biodegradable and compostable bags) as of 1st July 2016. Disposable plastic bags in departments are also banned from 1st January 2017. The proportion of organically sourced resin must represent at least 30% of the weight of the bag in 2017, 40% in 2018 and 50% in 2020.
  • Continuing their eco-design efforts in packaging, the food industry is aiming for "zero waste". This involves the use of recycled materials approved for food contact, the recycling of sub-products in the form of bio-based and biodegradable packaging in PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), for example, but also designing packaging which comes within an approach to consolidate waste flows and industrialise waste sorting centres.
  • Lastly, packaging in logistics and intralogistics is proving to be a vector for savings, safety and efficiency. Whether we talk about RFID chips in secondary and tertiary packaging or reverse logistics, the objective is also to ensure traceability of food products. To do this, some envisage serialisation of product/packaging couples in order to guarantee the origin of food products.

AMONG THE EXHIBITORS IN THE FOOD SECTOR:

BFG Packaging / BFR.S sas / BOULANGER / BRODART PACKAGING / CARTOTECNICA POSTUMIA / CCPIT-MSC-CHINA / CGL PACK / CHINA FOOD AND PACKAGING MACHINERY INDUSTRY ASSOCI / Codefine SA / DaklaPack France / ESPERA / EUROTECH PACKAGING / FILPACK - FILPACK INDUSTRIE / FOCKE MELER GLUING SOLUTIONS / GOGLIO / HEBERT/ HERPLAST / Ishida Europe - France / JOKEY / LACROIX EMBALLAGES / NOVEXX SOLUTIONS / PACKINOV / PET Engineering / / PFM S.P.A. PACKAGING MACHINERY / PROMO SOLUTION LTD / ROVEMA / SAINT-ANDRE-PLASTIQUE / SCELLINOX / Schur Star Systems / Société Générale des Techniques (SGT) / SOMTAS CONVERTING EQUIPMENT / SUMITOMO DEMAG / TAVIL / TECMA-ARIES / WES Worldwide Expo Services ShenzhenLtd. List up to 12 June 2018

Source: Annette Freidinger-Legay, international packaging expert and consultant for the ALL4PACK Paris 2016 trade show.

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