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Beverage industry: cost increases, consumer restraint, regulations

Brewing and beverage industry facing massive challenges

by redazione2
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Challenging tasks lie ahead for the industry – according to the managing directors of the industry associations at the recently concluded BrauBeviale 2023 in Nuremberg (November 28 to 30, 2023). But they also make it clear that the solutions are available, including with the help of innovative solutions from the start-up scene.

Difficult conditions for medium-sized breweries, addressed Roland Demleitner, Managing Director of Private Brauereien Deutschland e.V.. Three ‘construction sites’ in particular were addressed here: The increased production costs per hectoliter of beer of a typical medium-sized brewery by up to 15%, a reluctance to buy among consumers, which is reflected in a drop in taxable beer sales in Germany (30.09.2023) of around 3.9% compared to the same period last year, and the threat to the German reusable system posed by the planned EU packaging regulation (PPWR). Against this backdrop, efficiency improvements and its own brand policy are the most important fields of action for the brewing industry.

Dirk Reinsberg, Managing Director of the Bundesverband des Deutschen Getränkefachgroßhandels e. V. (BV GFGH), also classifies the current demands on the industry as challenging. In addition to the cost situation and changing consumer behaviour, he adds the absolutely necessary activities in terms of climate protection: “Anyone who says sustainability must always talk about logistics, packaging and digitalization and look beyond their own ‘bottle edge’. This is a joint project. Now is the time to set the right and important course for the future,” emphasizes Reinsberg.

The figures already speak for themselves with regard to the ratification of the EU Packaging Directive, according to Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (NUV) within the VDMA. Unclear requirements have now led to noticeable uncertainty in the market and thus to planning uncertainty among manufacturers and customers alike. “The reluctance to invest is now very clear. This is due to the EU packaging regulation,” says Clemens. However, he also sees this as an opportunity to promote sustainable innovations. Solution expertise for sustainable production and packaging is becoming a decisive competitive factor. Digitalization is a driver and enabler for this.

The fourth speaker in the group opened up new perspectives: Dr. Roman Werner, TUM Venture Lab Food/Agro/Biotech, pointed out that the necessary expansion of the innovation landscape could be shaped by agile start-ups in particular. With their fresh ideas and visions, young companies have the potential to awaken the often untapped innovation potential of the industry.


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