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Good turnout at information meeting Germany

Information meeting in Germany: rising consumption offers opportunities

Last week the information meeting 'More Opportunities in Germany' took place in the HortiVERSum in Zoetermeer. It was organised by GroentenFruit Huis in collaboration with the Germany-Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the Germany Desk and was on the theme of the German retail and food service market and consumer trends. Germany is the main sales market for the Netherlands and this was clear from the turnout. Over 60 participants were inspired by Joachim Stracke, manager of the German supermarket chain EDEKA Rhein-Ruhr. 

Sales opportunities due to rising consumption
Wilco van den Berg, market analyst at GroentenFruit Huis provided a presentation on the German consumption of fruit and vegetables. The consumer purchases are rising this year. The German consumer is increasingly opting for convenience in which processed vegetables, cut fruit and snacking vegetables are gaining popularity. However, cut vegetables are not as popular as in the Netherlands. The German consumer spends 4.5% of their expenditure on pre-cut vegetables, in the Netherlands this percentage is 35%. There is also a growing interest in soft fruit and exotics such as avocado, mango and blueberry.

Unwrapping packaging
Following this, Gianna Corbelli, representing the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, presented more information on the new packaging law which will be in force from January 1 2019. In Germany, recycling packaging has been required since 1991. This regulation requires all companies who bring packaging into circulation to recycle them as well. To find out whether you are required to recycle the packaging, the organisation itself has to test this. DNHK will advise on this.

Insight into the German food service 
Attention was also given to the food service market during the meeting. Norbert Neuwahl works for AIM, a German consulting bureau in product development and market. The total turnover in the German food service is over 73 billion Euro. They also went into the structure within the food service market. Who are the players? How big are they? And where are the opportunities for the Dutch fruit and vegetable sector?

The German consumer 
After a short pause Jochem Wolthuis talked about the German eating culture, which is different to that in the Netherlands. Almost half of the German consumers eat a warm meal at lunch, whilst only 5% of the Dutch do. Germany is also the sixth country globally with the highest amount of vegetarians. The demand for organic products is also rising in Germany, which makes the country the largest sales market for organic products in Europe by far.

EDEKA: more communication needed
Joachim Stracke, manager of EDEKA Rhein-Ruhr, emphasises that more communication on fruit and vegetables is needed for the consumer and employees in German retail. EDEKA stimulates the consumption of fruit and vegetables as well. Through national and regional advertising, they give product information and consumers can taste products in store. The employees of EDEKA can follow training so that they can inform the consumer well. Suppliers can offer an important contribution to this product knowledge, according to Stracke. 

After the presentation there was an opportunity to exchange knowledge on the German market with those present, along with a snack and a drink. The meeting was organised by GroentenFruit Huis in collaboration with Dutch-German Chamber of Commerce and the German Desk of GroentenFruit Huis.

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