The economic recession in the Netherlands has made it difficult for the government to persevere with fiscal austerity, which could provide a temporary boost to food and drink sales in the country. However, given the government's role in promoting public finance reform across the eurozone, the coalition is unlikely to change course for the time being and will respond to missed fiscal targets with further budget savings. An expected return to positive economic growth in 2014 would provide some cover for the government's austerity agenda. Nevertheless, we do not expect much dynamism in the country's food and drink market in the short term, with discounted goods remaining popular amid high unemployment and rising inflation.
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2013 per capita food consumption growth: +1.49%; forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2017 = +3.22%.
- 2013 alcoholic drink value sales growth: +1.48%; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +1.48%.
- 2013 soft drink value sales growth: +2.25%; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +2.73%.
- 2013 mass grocery retail sales growth: +2.74%; forecast CAGR to 2017 = +4.12%.
Key Company Trends
Surplus Food Offloaded via New Online Marketplace: In October 2013, the Dutch authorities and the EU launched the StockonDeals website, according to Food Navigator. The site was developed as an online marketplace for food manufacturers looking to sell off surplus stock to buyers in the food service, wholesale and retail sectors. The site was developed as a free-to-use platform, with the first auction held on November 1 2013. The development can be seen as an attempt to maximise revenue and minimise costs in a very challenging environment.
Mondelez International Expanding Global Footprint: In October 2013, US-based food processing company Mondelez International entered the coffee segment in the Netherlands and Australia through its Carte Noire and Velours Noir brands respectively as part of an effort to expand its global coffee footprint. The company also planned to introduce its Carte Noire Nespresso-compatible espresso capsules to the Spanish market as part of its global expansion drive.
Key Risks To Outlook
External Demand Crucial For Recovery: With domestic demand hit by falling house prices and a lack of appetite for fixed investment, the strength of global demand will be key to safeguarding the domestic recovery given the Netherlands' substantial current account surplus. We stress, however, that a continued deterioration in eurozone demand or insufficient monetary easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) pose key risks to our forecasts heading into 2014.