The Netherlands Saw USD69.8 Billion in Food Processing Ingredients Market

    The Dutch food processing industry is valued at almost USD69.8 billion and employs just over 135,000 people. The sector not only caters to consumers in the Netherlands but has clients in all neighboring countries and beyond. The food processing industry depends on a steady supply from primary producers on one hand and on food distributors such as food retail and wholesalers on the other hand. Products used in the food processing industry range from low-value bulk commodities to high-value, highly specialized food ingredients.

    The size of the food processing industry
    In the Netherlands there are over 5,695 food processing companies ranging from large multinationals to a few small & medium sized companies. Approximately 135,000 people are employed in the food processing industry. Last year, the industry generated a turnover of over USD69.8billion. Meat, dairy and fresh produce each comprise 25 percent of the market.  The other subsectors contribute the remaining quarter of the turnover. The majority of the food processing companies are located close to the main port cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam or in places close to the German consumer market of North Rhine-Westphalia (with almost 20 million consumers).

    The value of food ingredients 
    EU-28 imports of U.S. agricultural and fish products totaled USD15.6 billion in 2015. Almost a fifth (USD2.8 billion) was imported by Dutch traders. It shows the importance of the Netherlands within the EU–U.S. trade in agricultural products. The Netherlands is a small country geographically but the EU traders and food processors are here. Due to its large and sophisticated processing industries, the Netherlands increasingly depends on stable supplies of food ingredients from other EU member states and third countries, like the United States.  Expertise, infrastructure, commerce and logistics are all advanced in the Netherlands.

    Key market drivers 
    Food processors are increasingly focused on sourcing ingredients and developing products that are sustainable and contribute to a healthier diet as these are major concerns for consumers.  Food processors are working in various fields together with the government, food distributors, NGOs and farmers to make supply chains more sustainable.  The supply chain starts with sourcing raw materials and that is why increasingly companies switch to sustainably produced palm oil, soy products, fish, fresh produce, coffee and cocoa. Sustainable food has become the most important growth markets.  The turnover of sustainable food in 2015 totaled USD3 billion, up by 12 percent while the market share grew last year from 7 to 8 percent.  Food processing companies are producing products that contain less salt, sugar and fat and smaller portion sizes.  In addition to healthy and sustainable food products, consumers continue to buy products that are convenient, tasty and above all affordable.

    Best product prospects
    •  Food ingredients present in the market which have good sales potential: Nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans), highly processed ingredients (dextrins, peptones, enzymes, lecithins and protein concentrates), fish fillets (frozen fillets of Alaska Pollack, cod and hake), (fresh and processed) fruit and vegetables (cranberries, sweet potatoes, grapefruit).
    •  Food ingredients not present in significant quantities, but which have good sales potential: Ingredients for the natural and healthy foods industry, bakery product, dairy products (whey, milk powder), millet, spelt, meslin, and pulses.
    •  Food ingredients not present because they face significant barriers: Poultry, GMO derived ingredients that are not EU approved.