Travel and leisure is a booming consumer industry in Germany. In 2016, Germans spent EUR 144 billion on leisure, and the German hotel and accommodation industry reported 447 million overnight stays, up 2.5 percent from the previous year. Germans also love to travel outside the country – they spent EUR 73.2 billion in 2016 on trips abroad.
Consumer industries in Germany: growing demand in a thriving market
Most sectors are experiencing growing demand and some have already reached (or even exceeded) pre-pandemic levels.
Population sizeThe German population is 83.2 million, or 18.6 percent of the EU-27 population.
GDPGermany’s GDP accounts for 25 percent of the EU-27 GDP. With EUR 3,336 billion per year Germany is leading in Europe.
Purchasing powerGermany remains the largest consumer market in Europe – in terms of both population size and total purchasing power of 1,966 billion.
Best agerConsumers aged 50+ are the largest consumer group with the greatest purchasing power.
|8.3||Consumer electronics and white goods||percent|
|17.5||Textile, garment and shoes||percent|
|46.162||Beverages||million in turnover|
|56.039||Furniture||million in turnover|
|34.252||Consumer electronics and white goods||million in turnover|
|72.185||Textile, garment and shoes||million in turnover|
|107.092||Food||million in turnover|
Main industryFood and beverages is the fourth largest industry sector in Germany.
Market structureThe industry consists of around 6,200 companies of all sizes.
Generated salesThe German food and beverages sector generated sales of EUR 185 billion in 2020.
Industry leaderGermany is Europe’s largest food producer and the third largest exporter of food & beverages worldwide.
Reliable markets and new horizons
|30||food, tourism, leisure|| percent|
|11||crafts and trades, construction, renovation|| percent|
Eager consumersSales of organic food products grew by 22 percent in 2020 to reach EUR 14.9 billion.
Health & wellbeing mattersTop organic food segments by segment: fruits & vegetables (64 percent), meat and sausage products (48 percent), dairy products (48 percent)
Sustainability winsSales of fair-trade food products exceeded EUR 1.5 billion in 2020
Meat alternativesSales of meat alternatives almost doubled in 2020 to top EUR 800 million.
84 percent of Germany’s population are online on a regular basis (68 million people), making Germany responsible for around one quarter of all European B2C e-commerce turnover. In fact, the Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft (Association of the German Internet Industry) has predicted turnover to surpass EUR 100 billion by 2020.
German consumers are increasingly eco-conscious, giving companies that invest in sustainability a market advantage. According to the 2015 VuMA (consumer and media analysis) poll, 26.6 million Germans are somewhat willing to pay higher prices for eco-friendly products, 23.6 million are mostly willing to pay a premium and 6 million are fully willing.
Public and private support for new technologies
R&D and innovation spending in the German food and beverage industry was expected to reach EUR 1.7 billion in 2018, an increase of six percent over 2017. A large number of universities and research institutes collaborate to aid companies in the industry in innovative research, development, and bringing new products to market.
Solid structure, a focus on service
Germany’s unparalleled infrastructure and logistics, along with its central location in Europe, make it a great location for investment, as well as a connecting point with other western and eastern markets.
Germany offers a discerning consumer public with spending power and a growing e-commerce sector – a hotbed for innovation and a solid bet for investment.