A total of 2.2 million tons of confectionery and snacks were exported in 2020, a decrease in volume of -1.3% compared to the previous year, resulting in a dip in export sales by 2.5% to approximately €8.5bn ($10.28bn), the BDSI has confirmed, stating exports account for over 50% of German confectionery.
"This export strength is a major reason why the medium-sized confectionery industry, unique in the world, has been preserved in Germany," said Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the BDSI.
“In contrast to other crises, the pandemic hit the industry as a whole, despite its great diversification in the export target markets, and not just in individual regions.”
Approximately 80% of German confectionery exports are delivered to member states of the European Union. In 2020, however, third country exports also developed negatively, according to BDSI data.
One of the main reasons for the losses are the various restrictions on economic life and freedom of movement during the pandemic in its most important target markets.
Logistical hurdles - including temporarily closed borders, such as the ones currently with the Czech Republic and Tyrol in Austria, and with the UK before Christmas - lead to difficulties and delays in the supply chains as well as significantly higher logistics costs.
In addition, increase in unemployment caused by the pandemic and falling household incomes in important export markets reduced the demand for confectionery from Germany, which is more expensive in third countries outside the EU.
Apart from exports, the BDSI reported the business situation of medium-sized German confectionery industry as a whole has deteriorated compared to pre-coronavirus levels.
Its recent survey revealed 65% of the companies said the business situation was worse at the beginning of 2021 than a year ago.
Although confectionery sales rose in German food retailing, these increases cannot compensate for the slump in exports and in important sales channels such as the confectionery trade, gifting, gastronomy, travel retail or folk festivals and Christmas markets, the BDSI highlighted.