Each German eats nearly 32 kilos of chocolate and sweets per year – so much that sales have peaked, leaving the domestic industry searching for growth markets abroad, it admitted on Thursday.
“The sweets business is not exactly a cakewalk at the moment,” said Dietmar Kendziur, president of the German confectionary industry association.
“We would be happy if 2013 turned out like 2012,” he added. Last year the industry saw a 0.3 percent drop in turnover to €12.47 billion.
The German market is considered to be saturated, unable to take any more chocolate, sweets or biscuits – not even a wafer thin mint.
This left manufacturers looking to foreign markets for growth – in 2000 just a fifth of products were sold abroad while now that share is nearly half. But foreign markets seem to be losing their sweet tooth for German confectionary, and last year’s 1.68 million tonnes exported was four percent down on the previous year.
It is not as if Germans have suddenly turned to healthy alternatives from chocolate and sweets – they are reaching for more crisps and other salty snacks instead, Kendziur said. He blamed the European football championship for this development.