European Food and Drink Outlook 2023

In this article we explore the 2023 outlook for the food and drink sectors in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. As a machinery supplier catering to the food and drink sectors, understanding the upcoming trends and opportunities is essential. We will aim to dive into the outlook for the year ahead, providing insights for those seeking to supply capital equipment and machinery to these key European countries. 

Trends and Challenges in 2023: 

To effectively navigate the market, it’s crucial to stay informed about the emerging trends and challenges impacting the food and drink sectors in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in 2023. As a supplier, it may be helpful to be able to address and discuss factors such as energy costs, demand forecasting, and sustainability requirements to capitalize on the opportunities presented. 


France’s food and drink sector continues to showcase robust growth with significant investments in dairy, poultry, and agri-food industries. Despite the declining meat consumption trend across Europe, the domestic focus on supporting French producers remains strong. With a €1 billion budget allocated to promote the sector, machinery suppliers can seize opportunities emerging in manufacturing partnerships and equipment supply. Keep an eye on government funding programs and EU initiatives for SMEs, although securing these funds is having an impact on project timelines.


In the Netherlands, the alternative food sector takes centre stage. The government’s agility and responsiveness to industry needs create a favourable environment for machinery suppliers. As the transition from traditional protein sources to alternative options gains momentum, collaborations, new R&D and innovation centres offer excellent prospects for growth. Sustainability, the reduction of energy consumption and carbon footprint are key focus areas. Desirable machinery offerings align with the demand for energy-efficient solutions and support the transition to alternative proteins. 


While Belgium may receive less foreign direct investment compared to its neighbouring countries, the domestic food and drink market remains robust. With overall investment of €2 billion to support the sector, this presents opportunities for machinery suppliers. Overcoming challenges related to the higher consumer tax regime and fostering innovation will be essential to maximize potential in this market.  

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There are major issues in the Netherlands and Belgium around nitrogen emissions, which is reducing the amount of available farming land as governments buy up arable land. As such, higher prices for consumers are inevitable.  

There are acute shortages of qualified resource to deliver projects, which is impacting on project timelines significantly.  

Production Trends in the Food and Drink sectors: 

  • Alt food / protein / plant based  / vegan 
  • R&D and innovation centres 
  • Food waste reduction 
  • Alcohol free brewing & distilling 
  • Ready to eat meals 
  • New packaging formats 
  • Seaweed & algae-based ingredient production 
  • Premium pet foods 
  • CBD ingredients and preservatives 

Overall Outlook for 2023 & 2024: 

Sustainability and efficiency are central to the future of the food and drink sectors in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in 2023 and beyond. Machinery suppliers must align their offerings with these trends to support the industry’s transition towards energy-efficient practices and reduced water consumption, with drought becoming a major concern in France in particular. While larger producers can incorporate these measures into their existing infrastructure, SMEs may face tighter budgets and reduced capex allocations. By providing cost-effective and energy-saving solutions, machinery suppliers can cater to the needs of both segments of the market. 

The European Food and Drink Conclusion: 

As a machinery supplier targeting the food and drink sectors in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, understanding the specific outlook for 2023 is vital for success. By staying informed about which capex projects are progressing, adapting your offerings to promote sustainability and efficiency, and establishing long-term relationships with key stakeholders, you can position yourself as a valuable partner in these markets. There is a great deal of opportunity for suppliers by keeping up-to-date on which projects to target, and when – it is possible to capitalise on the growth potential within the food and drink process manufacturing sectors in the year ahead. 

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This entry was posted in News on July 10, 2023