German fruit juice industry struggles with crop failures and cost increases

Per capita consumption of fruit juice and fruit nectar in Germany was 26 litres in 2023. This means that consumption has fallen by 2 litres compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, Germany remains the world leader in fruit juice consumption. "Our consumers attach great importance to quality and variety, especially when it comes to products that offer added health benefits," explains Klaus Heitlinger, Managing Director of the Association of the German Fruit Juice Industry (VdF).

Orange juice
© Verband der deutschen Fruchtsaft-Industrie e.V. (VdF)
Source:  Company news

Stable demand for classics and increasing popularity of specialities
In 2023, the fruit juice association recorded a slight decline in demand for orange juice and stable demand for apple juice and multivitamin juice. Apple juices in particular score highly with their wide range of regional orchard juices, while the diverse range of multivitamin juices fulfils the desire for added health benefits. The most popular fruit juices in 2023 were orange juice with 6.8 litres, apple juice with 5.1 litres and multivitamin juice with 4.0 litres per capita.

Challenging market conditions for the future
The fruit juice market in Germany is one of the most important in the world and an important part of the beverage industry in this country. Last year, the sector was able to slightly increase its turnover from EUR 3.25 billion to EUR 3.35 billion.

Weather-related harvest fluctuations and the associated availability of raw materials are part of the normal business operations of fruit juice producers. However, the extreme weather conditions of recent years, which often lead to the total failure of individual fruit varieties, as well as the sometimes exponential cost increases along the entire value chain, are increasingly increasing the economic risk for companies.

Despite these numerous challenges, the aim of fruit juice producers in Germany is to continue to offer consumers a wide range of high-quality and diverse products through innovation and adaptability. However, in view of the sustainable reorganisation of agriculture and the considerable cost increases in raw materials and logistics, which do not only affect the fruit juice industry, we will also have to live with the reality of higher prices in Germany in the future.

Another option is to adjust the product range, for example by reducing the proportion of fruit juice and expanding the product selection to include cheaper alternatives.

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