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European Soft Drinks Industry boosts progress throughout the European Economy


04 Jun 2018


Agriculture & Food
Sector generates €185 billion annual revenue across its EU value-chain and supports more than 1.7m jobs 
Brussels, 4 June 2018; A study released this week illustrates the strong contribution that the European soft drinks industry makes to the overall European economy, generating €185 billion revenue and indirectly supporting 1.7 million jobs.  The sector, which has been present in Europe for more than a century, supports a local value-chain of suppliers, distributors and retailers with revenue that is 2.5 times greater than that which it receives itself.  
The study, undertaken by leading drinks industry analysts Global Data to mark the 60th anniversary of UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, , is based on 2016 data. It shows that the industry generates €185 billion revenue throughout its EU value chain – equivalent to 1.24% of EU GDP and delivering almost €30 billion in tax contributions to EU member states. 
“Our sector is rooted in the European economy and enjoys a strong connection with the industries throughout its value chain,” explains UNESDA president, Stanislas de Gramont, CEO of Suntory Beverage and Food Europe.  “From the agricultural sector where we source ingredients including fruit, berries and sugar beet; to the packaging and raw materials industries; through to the transport and distribution sectors and finally to the supermarkets, shops, bars and restaurants across the continent where our products are sold. We contribute revenue, jobs and investment.”
Supporting revenue generation across the value chain
Soft drinks represents a significant share of total revenues for some sectors:  for the Foodservice/hospitality sector it is almost 10% of total revenue; for the Creative/marketing services sector it comprises 4.1% of total revenue, and for the Packaging sector 3.7% of total revenue.
Delivering significant tax contributions to EU member states
Economic activity by the European soft drinks industry delivered almost €30 billion in taxes for EU member states in 2016, benefitting governments and households across the EU28.
Supporting employment across the continent
The sector sustains over 1.7 million jobs along the length of its supply chain – 168,447 directly and 1,546,578 indirectly.  Europeans whose jobs rely directly or indirectly on the soft drinks industry receive a total income in salaries of €26.7 billion before income tax and each worker directly employed by the soft drinks industry represents another 9 jobs supported in associated industries.
A local industry – sourcing, producing and employing people locally
The European soft drinks industry is a local industry, contributing to local economies.  Ingredients are sourced from local farmers and producers and production sites employ local people and are located close to distribution and sales outlets.
Demand for agricultural produce and packaging from the soft drinks industry supports farming and manufacturing across the EU – from the sugar beet sourced from northern and eastern European countries to fruit and berries sourced from growers across the continent.  It is estimated that 137,500 arable farms across the EU grow crops destined for soft drinks production.  
An innovative sector investing in R&D
Soft drinks companies spend €70m on research and development in the EU each year - the vast majority undertaken by the companies themselves. Some 560 researchers and scientists are employed in laboratories and technical centres across the EU developing new and innovative products that meet ever-changing consumer tastes and trends.
Contributing to the communities in which it operates
As a local industry, the sector is an active contributor to community programmes across the EU28: from the regeneration of inner cities and the clean-up of the local environment to sports programmes and the promotion of educational opportunities for young women and the disadvantaged.
To view the full report and data see here
For further information please contact:
Sam Rowe, Communications, UNESDA – ++32 475 361286


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