The German food industry in times of corona

The German food industry in times of corona

The German food industry in times of corona

The German food industry is the fourth largest industrial sector in Germany. 622,253 employees in 6,225 companies reliably supply 82 million consumers with food. The export quota is 33% and customers worldwide appreciate the quality of German products. 90 percent of the companies in the German food industry are medium-sized businesses. 

In the Corona crisis, the food trade and the food industry are of central importance. Despite the exceptional situation, they have to guarantee the supply of the population. In doing so, they are constantly facing new challenges due to supply bottlenecks and staff shortages.

The situation of food and beverage companies is quite varied. While some are doing business as usual, others sold a large part of their annual production in the first few months, while others still are affected by dramatic declines in sales. 

In 2018, 3 German companies set out to test the INDUCE method in their company. How are our pilot companies doing in the Corona crisis? Privat-Fleischerei Reinert from Versmold paints an optimistic picture despite the crisis.

Due to the corona crisis the consumption of food increases. This also affects the sausage segment. Therefore slumps in the export markets can be offset by strong domestic demand. Hans-Ewald Reinert, Managing Director of Privat-Fleischerei Reinert, is positive about the partnership cooperation with trading partners and suppliers and the commitment of the employees. Certainly, solidarity and cooperation will continue after the crisis. 

Hans-Ewald Reinert was interviewed for the magazine “Lebensmittelpraxis”. The complete interview of the section “Service contribution – Export and Corona: Light and Shadow” can be read here

What remains after Corona. No one can say exactly where it will take the food industry yet. Possible trends could be:

Regionality is becoming the new reality:

The pandemic shows that supply chains are proving difficult in times of closed borders. One possible conclusion is that international supply chains will change in the future, as many industries will partly bring their production back into their own country. In particular, possible supply bottlenecks due to import restrictions are to be counteracted in this way. The aim is to fulfill the task of supply security in the future. 

More digitalization for the industry:

The long-planned digitalization of the food industry, which had previously been lacking, received a boost with the Corona crisis. Corona has helped retailers and manufacturers to turn their attention to digitalization. While retailers have been led to new ideas and concepts by the increase in consumers’ online purchases, manufacturers are finding that online meetings are more effective and less time-consuming than face-to-face meetings. Even if not every business and conversation will take place online in the future, the positive experiences contribute to the fact that outdated structures will probably continue to break up in the future. 

Humans never knew before what the future will be. Fact is in every industry there will be winners and losers. One thing is for sure: “We always eat”. What we eat and where we eat can only be shown by the future, certainly the food industry will help to shape it.