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16 September 2022

drinktec 2022 opening with the VDMA press conference

Innovations and personal interaction | The beverage industry has been meeting again this week in Munich at drinktec, the leading international fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, from 12–16 September 2022. 65,000 visitors from 170 countries met 1000 exhibitors from more than 55 countries.

The trade exhibition is devoted to four key topics – sustainable packaging and production, water and water management, digitalisation and digital solutions as well as consumers’ world and product design and thus reflects the whole production chain, from raw materials to the finished product at the POS, including packaging, overpacks and logistics.

The exhibition started on Monday with the press conference of VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau / German Engineering Federation), drinktec’s conceptual and promotional sponsor. Richard Clemens, Managing Director of VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, and Volker Kronseder, Chairman of the drinktec Advisory Board and VDMA Board Member, gave an overview of the successes of German machinery and plant manufacturers in international markets and the role of machinery and plant engineering towards cost-effective and sustainable production.

Richard Clemens is very pleased that the international supplier industry is able to present their innovations at drinktec again

Following growth of machinery production of 6 percent to EUR 218 billion in 2021, economic recovery of machinery production in 2022 has been significantly thwarted by the war in the Ukraine and persistent supply chain interruptions. “The order books of the industry are well filled. Orders on hand are approx. 11 months but production is still strongly impeded by supply problems for materials and intermediates”, so Richard Clemens at the opening of drinktec in Munich.

Economic situation of food processing and packaging machinery

Production in the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery section rose seven percent to EUR 14.8 billion in 2021. The fourth largest machinery construction section thus almost achieved the record level of 2019 of EUR 15.3 billion in the second year of the pandemic. In the first half of 2022, order intake of the industry was nine percent in real terms above the value of the same previous year period. This growth was mainly due to orders from non- European countries. “The market provides us an economic momentum”, Volker Kronseder explains. According to Kronseder, this is due to world population growing and a consumption-oriented middle class being on the increase, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

German companies are leaders in world machinery trade

The industry is geographically very diversified and has a footprint in more than 100 countries. Based on export data from 52 industrial countries, world trade volume of food processing machinery and packaging machinery will amount to about 45 billion Euros, an increase of nine percent, according to VDMA estimates. Germany accounts for 21 percent of the world trade volume of food processing machinery and packaging machinery. In 2021, every third beverage packaging machine and 50 percent of brewing equipment traded internationally originated in Germany.

Focus on sustainability

Kronseder felt that increasing beverage consumption all over the globe was another reason for continued good market perspectives. Following a decline in the first year of the pandemic due to the fact that hotels and restaurants were closed, almost one billion litres of beverages were filled, packaged and sold in 2021. The British Euromonitor International Market Research Institute forecasts an increase by some 17 percent by 2026. Monitor also anticipates two digit increases in the regions Africa/Middle East and Asia-Pacific in that period whereas beverage sales will rise just slightly in saturated markets. “For us, industrial countries will continue to be strong buyers and driving forces. In view of competitive pressure, product innovations are launched all the time. Consumer requirements regarding sustainability are rising simultaneously”, says Kronseder.

Volker Kronseder gave an overview of German machinery and plant manufacturers in international markets

Many companies in the beverage and liquid food industry – also outside of Europe – set themselves their own sustainability objectives. Energy efficiency, avoidance of product losses, energetic waste recycling and optimised packaging are the most important issues on the agenda of food producers in terms of sustainability.

Perspectives for the industry in challenging times

The outlook for suppliers to the beverage industry is positive: emerging countries have a high pent-up demand. They are building up and extending production. The developed markets in Western Europe and North America experience qualitative growth and nutrition trends. Demand for capital goods is associated with product innovations, coupled with increasingly shorter product lifetimes, price pressure on the one hand and increasing importance of sustainability criteria on the part of consumer decisions on the other hand.

The whole industry is looking forward to positive stimuli from drinktec 2022. “We are very pleased that the international supplier industry is able to present their innovations at the most important platform for the industry and that we can finally have a personal exchange with an international specialist audience about requirements and significant topics again”, Richard Clemens, Managing Director of VDMA, concludes.