Europe's food industry plays an essential role in the region's economic development. Revenues from this sector alone exceed 1 billion euros, according to FoodDrinkEurope. In Spain, the food industry generates revenues amounting to 86.298 billion euros, according to the Spanish Food and Drink Industry (FIAB).
Annual revenues for the bread and baked goods industry in Europe (24 countries and Turkey) is more than 130 billion euros, according to the 2012 GIRA report, of which 62% is attributable to industrial baked goods and 38% to artisan products. This data reflects this sub-sector's important role in the European economy.
Industrial production of baked goods has been relatively stable in Finland, France and Germany, and it has declined slightly in Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway and Russia, according to the International Association of Plant Bakers (AIBI). Production declined more sharply in Denmark, by 10% with respect to 2011.
Turkey ranks first, with bread production exceeding 9 million tons, followed by Russia, with almost 7 million. In contrast, Cyprus ranks last, with 53,550 tons, along with Slovenia, with slightly more than 85,000 tons.
In Spain, it's worth highlighting that production expanded by 1.2% year-on-year in 2012, to 1,650,000 tons.
Per capita consumption data in Europe is extremely disparate, according to the AIBI. The UK ranks last, and Spain second-to-last, with 35.93 kilos per person.
Baked goods consumption is highest in Turkey, where every person ate on average 120/kilos in 2012. Bulgaria came in a distant second, with 95 kilos.
The UK was in last place, with per capital consumption totaling 32.29 kilos in 2012, i.e. almost 88 kilos less than in Turkey. This data refers to industrial baked goods only. For a better overall vision, artisan and semi-artisan production would have to be included.
A vital sector
The food and beverage sector is one of the most important in Europe, comprising around 310,000 companies, of which 287,000 are SMEs (data from FoodDrinkEurope). In Spain, this sector comprises 29,169 companies, according to FIAB, and also plays a very important role in the labor market.
In Europe, this sector employs 4.27 million people, i.e. 15% of total industrial jobs. According to FIAB, food and beverages employed almost 440,000 people in Spain in 2012, i.e. 20% of all industrial jobs. Extrapolating this data for the baked goods sector as a whole, total jobs amount to 77,500.
Europe's industrial baked goods sector employs more than 420,000 people, the majority of which are in Russia (300,000).
"This data reflects the sector's important role in our economy and its commitment to society. The baked goods industry creates quality jobs while driving economic development in rural areas. Our industrial bakeries are in rural zones, and they provide employees with working conditions similar to cities, eliminating the need to migrate," says Felipe Ruano, President of the Spanish Association of Baking, Pastry and Cake Manufacturers (ASEMAC).
France and Germany rank second in terms of employment numbers, each with 35,000 jobs.
Denmark is in last place, with 550 workers, surpassed only by Greece, with 1,500, i.e. three-times as many. In Spain, baked goods industry members of ASEMAC employ 5,000 workers.
According to AIBI, there are 2,054 industrial baked goods companies in Europe, of which 40 are in Spain. Once again, Russia and Turkey stand out: the former has 700 industrial bakeries and the latter, 300. Slovenia ranks third, with 289.
In second-to-last and last place are Norway, with 7, and Denmark, with 6.
Baked goods have a market share of 80% in the UK and 87% in Bulgaria and, in contrast, 12% in Turkey and just 3.5% in Greece.