| Uta Knapp |
COLOGNE (dpa) – Germans managed to munch their way through 32.3 kilogrammes each of sweets, snacks and ice cream last year. The country’s favourite – chocolate – accounted for 10 kilogrammes of that total.
Nonetheless, a study shows that Germans pay less for their indulgence than other Europeans. The report by the German Confectionery Industry Association (BDSI) shows that they each paid just 116.65 euros (132.36 dollars) for their sweets, including 50 euros for chocolate.
In a survey by market researchers Nielsen for the International Confectionery Assocation, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Swiss, Slovak, Russian, Bulgarian and Romanian consumers have to pay a lot more for their sweets.
A basket of 17 branded sweet products costs, on average, 23.65 euros in Germany, compared to a whopping 50.05 euros in Norway, more than double the German figure. The next cheapest country was the Netherlands, at 24.26 euros.
The reason for the relatively low prices in Germany is a very competitive grocery market, with some 40 per cent of sweet sales originating from the supermarket shelves of the large discount chains.
Despite massive increases in the price of raw materials like cocoa, cocoa butter, hazelnuts and almonds, retailers have not been able to pass the increases on to customers, according to BDSI executive committee member Bastian Fassin.
Faced with a “saturated” market at home, the more than 200 German producers of sweets and snacks have set their sights on exports.
While total sales of German-produced sweets in 2014 grew by 1.9 per cent to 12.89 billion euros compared to 2013, exports grew by 8.8 per cent to 6.87 billion euros. Meanwhile, imports of sweets grew by 10.9 per cent to 4.45 billion euros.
Starting Sunday and running until Wednesday, the world’s largest trade fair for the sweet and snack industry is due to take place in the western city of Cologne, with 1,500 exhibitors from 65 countries due to show off the latest products and trends.
The most important development is vegan and lactose-free chocolate, according to organisers.
Visitors will find chocolate made from rice milk or millet milk and even sweets and snacks based on golden millet or buckwheat.
It is questionable whether the new products will find any permanent space on retail shelves as industry experts say half the innovations have disappeared after just 12 months; after five years, only a fifth of new products are still on sale.