Food and beverage to optimise to capacity

building, tape measure, measurement, growth, construction, toolsThe 2015 edition of The Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry report has been released by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

The report was undertaken by the Australian consultancy Coriolis and funded by the Ministry of Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

It reveals that food and beverage accounts for just under half of NZ’s exports but that NZ has the capacity to increase this percentage.

This sector contributed $30.7 billion in exports, which constitutes 46 per cent of the total, over 2014.

It also reveals that this sector is successfully achieving growth by investing in added-value products and moving up the value chain.

The report highlights that investment in NZ food and beverage manufacturing from around the world is 25 per cent and that it is the the largest exporter in the world of dairy products and lamb, and a major exporter of beef, kiwi-fruit, apples and seafood.

Specifically, it is the largest global venison exporter and growing strongly in poultry and processed meats off a small base, while remaining a leader in rock lobster and growing in mussel and salmon aquaculture.

A key focus of the report is on the 23 emerging high-value categories, which now produce a total of $3 billion of exports per annum and have grown at 12 per cent a year over the past decade.

“New Zealand’s food and beverage sector is in the middle of an exciting period of growth,” says  Joyce. “Goods with annual export figures between $100-$200 million include chocolate, UHT milk, biscuits, avocadoes, soft drink and beef jerky; between $200-$300 million include pet food and honey; mussels $312 million, and $455 million in infant formula.”

Honey exports have seen a compound annual growth rate of 24 per cent to reach $168 from 2004 to 2014. Infant formula has achieved growth of 45 per cent to $297 million over the same period. Fresh berry exports have increased by 17 per cent to $19 million, beef jerky by 14 per cent to $101 million, cider by 50 per cent to $14 million and sauces by 34 per cent to $16 million.

NZ is the fifth largest global exporter of cheese and the leading exporter to Asia Pacific.

However, overall, developing markets such as China are driving food and beverage export growth.

“The report also shows that recent investment by the sector has largely gone into further processing, retail products, and new high-value categories,” says Joyce.

The report profiles the top 100 NZ food and beverage firms, which collectively generate $51 billion in revenue a year.

Guy notes that dairy manufacturers have invested around $1.3 billion in the past four years in new plants that produce UHT milk, infant formula, mozzarella cheese, lactoferin and hydrolysed protein.

“Much of this is retail product, food service and high value ingredients – all of it is adding value to the basic raw material,” he says.

“Food and beverage continues to be vitally important for NZ and it’s crucial to achieving the government’s target of increasing exports to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025.”

Government has effectively set a target of tripling the country’s food and beverage export over the next 15 years.

“The sector’s increasingly diverse product categories provide major opportunities for further growth around regional NZ and for the Maori economy such as with aquaculture in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, honey in Northland and nutraceuticals in Marlborough,” says Guy.

According to Joyce, an important part of maintaining this growth story is attracting further investment into the value-added parts of the food and beverage sector, from both domestic and international investors. “The government will continue to actively encourage more investment through the new NZ Investment Attraction Strategy and the Investment Stream of the Business Growth Agenda.”

The top 100 food and beverage firms in NZ had a combined revenue of $51.5 billion in 2014.

The Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry is part of the Food and Beverage Information Project and is available here:

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