Germany - Agricultural Sectors Germany - Agricultural Sectors
OverviewGermany is the second largest importer and third largest exporter of consumer oriented agricultural products worldwide, and by far the most important European market for foreign producers. The retail market’s key characteristics are consolidation, market saturation, strong competition and low prices. Germany is an attractive and cost-efficient location in the center of the EU. While many consumers are very price sensitive, the market also provides many wealthy consumers who follow value-for-money concepts. These consumers are looking for premium quality products and are willing to pay a higher price. Germany still has the lowest food prices in Europe, and German citizens spend less than 11 % of their income on food and beverages. Low food prices are a result of high competition between discounters and the grocery retail sale segment.
Key market drivers and consumption trends
- Fair trade and organic products have become more important on the German grocery market. Germany is the second largest organic market in the world (behind the U.S.) and presents good prospects for exporters of organic products (for more information, please see the GAIN report: Opportunities for U.S. Organics in German Market).
- Ageing population and increased health consciousness of consumers is fueling the demand for health and wellness products, as well as functional food products.
- Increasingly high-paced society and the rising number of single households are driving the demand for convenient ready-to-eat meals, desserts and baking mixes.
- Ethnic foods, beauty and super foods, clean label foods, “free from” products (e.g. gluten or lactose free) and locally grown products are further trends that attract more and more German consumers.
- An increasing share of consumers view their purchasing decision as a political or life-style statement (no GMO, only free-range eggs, vegetarian or vegan diet).
- Consumers increasingly require traceability and information about production methods.
- Germany remains a price-focused market, but the share of consumers who are willing to pay for quality increases.
Leading Sub-SectorsTree Nuts
The category of tree nuts includes almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts. Germany does not produce significant quantities of these products, and supply therefore comes primarily from imports. The United States is the largest supplier of tree nuts to Germany. The leading competitor for the United States in the German tree nut market is Turkey. Many U.S. agricultural associations actively promote their products in Germany, including the Almond Board of California, California Pistachio Commission and the California Walnut Commission. Most tree nuts are used as ingredients by the food processing sector. Almonds are the most important commodity within this category. Further products with good sales potential include walnuts, pistachios, and pecans.
|in million USD||2016||2017||2018||2019 (Estimated)|
|Total Local Production||0||0||0||0|
|Imports from the US||605||660||730||720|
|Total Market Size||1,966||2,067||1,947||2,000|
Fish and fishery products enjoy growing popularity in Germany. The German market offers lucrative opportunities for fish and seafood products. Fish consumption is growing as consumers associate fishery products with a healthy diet. The best prospects for U.S. seafood exports are salmon, shrimps, crabs, caviar substitutes, cuttlefish and squid, sea urchin, catfish, lobster and scallops. The two most important U.S. fishery export products to Germany are Alaska Pollock and salmon by value.
|in million USD||2016||2017||2018||2019 (Estimated)|
|Total Local Production||2,315||2,400||2,534||2,600|
|Imports from the US||198||211||185||200|
|Total Market Size||5,169||5,427||5,630||5,750|
Germany is the world's largest importer of wine by volume and third largest by value. In 2018, German wine imports were valued at more than USD 3.1 billion. Italy, France and Spain are the leading suppliers of wine to Germany with a combined import market share of 78%. U.S. wines, together with other “new-world” wines, have developed an increasingly good reputation for quality in the German market. In 2018, the value of Germany's imports of U.S. wines totaled USD 45 million.
|in million liters||2016||2017||2018||2019 (Estimated)|
|Total Local Production||901||746||1027||900|
|Imports from the US||40||36||25||27|
|Total Market Size||2,024||1,891||2,120||1,920|
Sources: German Office of Statistics (German production)
Global Trade Atlas (trade) query dated April 24, 2019
Germany is one of the leading countries for pet ownership in the world. Germans are willing to pay a premium to properly feed their pets, and interest in specialty health pet food products is growing rapidly. Most pet foods are produced domestically and the EU requires pet foods to be derived from meat that can be used for human consumption. Despite the bureaucratic obstacles, opportunities for exporting pet food products to Germany are available given the considerable size of the market.
in million USD
|Total Local Production||3,509||3,588||3,900||3,900|
|Imports from the U.S.||3||3||4||4|
|Total Market Size||3,083||3,176||3,250||3,250|
Web resourcesAgricultural Attaché Reports
Attaché reports provide information on market opportunities, crop conditions, new policy developments and information on the German food industry. Some standard reports include: Retail Market Report, Exporter Guide, Food Service Report, and market briefs on wine, seafood and other select products. Attaché reports can be found at https://gain.fas.usda.gov/Pages/Default.aspx. In recent years, many of the German reports have been consolidated and are submitted as EU reports. We recommend that companies interested in the German market also review the EU reports.
U.S. Agricultural Commodity Associations Active in Germany
A number of U.S. agricultural commodity and other trade associations conduct market development programs in Germany. In some cases, these associations maintain field offices in Germany, while others may have a trade representative or public relations company representing their interests. Others may cover Germany from elsewhere in Europe or from offices in the U.S. The USDA-operated Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development program (FMD) provide a portion of the funding for these association’s market development programs. For further information about the MAP and FMD programs or to know more about which associations are active in Germany, please contact the Office of Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin (http://fas-europe.org/countries/germany/).
In Germany, trade fairs play a key role in presenting new products to the trade or in finding additional buyers and importers. The major international trade fairs are:
ANUGA – the world´s leading food fair for the retail trade and the food service and catering market. It is held every two years in Cologne. Next show: October 5-9, 2019
FRUIT LOGISTICA – the leading show for fruit and vegetables, dried fruits, and nuts. It is held on an annual basis in Berlin. Next show: February 5-7, 2020
Fish International – the leading fish and seafood show in Germany. It is held every two years in Bremen. Next show: February 9-11, 2020
Biofach – the leading European trade show for organic food and non-food products. It is held on an annual basis in Nuremberg. Next show: February 12-15, 2020
Prowein – the leading wine show in Germany. It is held on an annual basis in Dusseldorf. Next show: March 15-17, 2020
Interzoo – the world leading pet industry exhibition. It is held every two years in Nuremberg. Next show: May 19-22, 2020
Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.