COVID-19 impact on food & beverage industry in Spain

The Spanish F&B industry ends seven consecutive years of growth in 2020. Despite the fact that domestic consumption has shot up since the appearance of the pandemic, the paralysis of the hotel and catering activity has punished the sector as a whole.

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The F&B industry is showing one of the best performances through the crisis caused by the coronavirus. Even so, this year it will lose around 4.3 billion of the income it had in 2019. This is how the sectoral association FIAB presented it in a study carried out together with the Instituto de Estudios Económicos (IEE). According to this study, the industry will end the year with a revenue of 116.7 billion euros, 3.6% less than last year's figure.

The sales’ increase of fast-moving consumer goods will not compensate for the decline in the hotel and catering industry. Sales to the latter channel will close the year at around 9.2 billion euros, representing a drop of 56% from last year. The remaining 107.5 billion will correspond to consumption at home, showing a growth of 6.4% over 2019. "This segment does not assume the fall experienced in the hotel industry, due to the closure of bars and restaurants and mobility limitations with the practical paralysis of tourism," the director general of FIAB, Mauricio García de Quevedo, explains in a press release.

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What remains stable is the export activity, according to FIAB, by the circumstantial "large increase" of sales of pork products to China, although those made to the main Spain’s foreign market, the European Union, have fallen by 1.1%. "Internationalization is a strategic pillar for the sector and in order to continue growing, we must solve those situations which are harming Spanish products, such as the US’ tariffs and the Brexit consequences", García de Quevedo says.

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The report highlights that, between February and October, and due to the lower value of what was produced during that time, the sector has lost 1,800 companies compared to the same period last year, a reduction of 6.8%."Considering the presence of the sector throughout the country, its special contribution in areas with lower rates of income per capita and the ‘dragging effect’ on other productive activities, the decline in production is a major setback for the competitiveness of the industry," García de Quevedo adds.

In the last chapter of the report, the necessary measures to recover the competitiveness of the Spanish food and beverage sector appear. These measures are focused on six main areas: (1) economic and fiscal measures, (2) measures to promote and protect employment, (3) measures to generate demand and promote consumption, (4) measures to support exports, (5) measures to promote industrial competitiveness and sustainability and (6) measures to promote R&D&I.       

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For the original report in Spanish, click here

Source: Cinco Días