Food and drink
Hungry for success
The pleasures of eating and drinking are not only woven inextricably into Europe’s social and cultural fabric – they’re vital to its economic success.The sector generates a huge variety of produce to feed consumers’ taste for tradition and appetite for adventure, both in the EU and beyond.
Food and drink is the EU’s largest manufacturing sector, its leading employer, and accounts for a high proportion of consumer spending. The industry is a diverse one, with a variety of sectors ranging from fruit and vegetable processing to dairy production and drinks, and it benefits from EU food legislation and opportunities offered by the Single Market. Manufacturers, many still not fully recovered from the recession, are having to adapt to meet rapidly evolving consumer tastes and demands. The companies featured here represent both recent and longer-standing EU members, and share a gut instinct for emerging trends and an insatiable appetite for growth.
Sector at a glance
- 33 million – jobs in the retail and wholesale services sector within the EU
- €25.9 billion – the value of exports from the EU in Q4 2015
- <1% of all food and drink enterprises in the EU are multinationals… but they provide 51% of turnover