Nearly 82.7 million people with one of the highest disposable income levels in the world - the current German marketplace is currently dealing with the increasing urbanization and concentrating demand, an aging population and healthy lifestyle, resulting in increasing imports of dried fruit, especially from developing countries.
1. FOOD MARKET TRENDS
URBANIZATIONTRENDS German population is concentrated in urban areas, gravitating toward industrial centers and higher paying jobs. Density is greatest in the larger cities, such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Munich, as well as in the regions around the cities of Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Cologne and Bonn. The urban population in Germany is forecast to continue growing to 90.2% by 2015.Urban population represents greater levels of actual and potential consumption than their rural counterparts due to their higher earning potential, exposure to advertising, marketing, shopping facilities and a general awareness of consumer products and lifestyles. The rural sector of the population has very little opportunity to entertain any consumer aspirations since much of the rural economy hasvery little disposable income.
% of total population Urban Rural TOTAL 1990 85.3 14.7 100 1995 86.5 13.5 100 2000 87.5 12.5 100 2005 88.5 11.5 100 2010 89.2 10.8 100 2015 90.2 9.8 100
CONSUMPTION TRENDS Today’s European consumer has the following preferences concerning food and nutrition: Healthy Lifestyle Urbanization and rising incomes lead to significant changes in dietary patterns andlifestyle. European consumers have a strongly increased interest in a healthy life-style and, consequently, in the consumption of health food. Health food refers to food products, which are low in fat and have limited sugar and salt content; this includes functional foods, which have specific health-promoting properties and food products with added vitamins and minerals or bacteria supporting theintestinal function. Related to a healthy lifestyle, there is a growing interest in the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the West European food market. This is caused by the fact that fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and natural antioxidants, which are supposed to have properties preventive to heart diseases, cancer and aging. Food safety, quality and environment-consciousness Foodproduction, especially primary growing, should be environment-friendly. Waste, including packaging waste, should be avoided or at least reduced. In the scope of the increasing environment-consciousness in the EU, a group of leading European food retailers launched the EurepGap Protocol in 1999. The objective of EurepGap (Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group for Good Agricultural Practice) is to raisestandards for the production of fresh produce by promoting food safety, sustainable use of natural resources and more environment-friendly production. Food products should be safe to human health and eating them should not result in any danger or risk. As a result of several food scares (BSE / mad cow disease, dioxin) consumers increasingly pose questions on the production process and demand open,honest, and informative labeling. This has resulted in a discussion in the food industry about “tracking and tracing”. With good chain management and control within the chain, distributors are able to supervise all kinds of aspects of fresh fruit and vegetables such as plant material, growth, harvest, storage, distribution and processing. The fruit and vegetable industry is increasingly paying attentionto chain management and labeling systems with which products can be traced back to the producer. Safe Quality Food (SQF), which was originally developed in Australia, has recently been introduced in the EU. SQF aims at chain certification and combines quality concerns, HACCP and Tracking & Tracing in its certification requirements. The European Commission also recognizes the importance of food...