Record Santa production levels may offer hope for an under-pressure German confectionery sector

This past week, it has been encouraging to learn that despite major challenges facing the German confectionery sector, as much as any other around the world, there was some festive cheer in the news that a record number of chocolate Santas have been crafted in the country.

A total of 169 million festive Father Christmases were reported to have been created in the past few weeks by the country’s dedicated artisan confectioners and larger-scale producers targeting international export markets around the world.

The fact that this represents a record figure is quite something, given the recent news from the region that extremely high energy prices have been pushing up production costs to threaten the viability of many smaller and medium-sized enterprises was particularly concerning to hear.

Indeed, the BDSI trade organisation noted that its own surveys found that many confectionery business were now grappling with potential staff shortages and left to pick up the extremely high tab of increased ingredients costs and other supply chain challenges that have dampened many prospects for the traditionally extremely busy Christmas period.

So, it remains to be seen how the energy crisis – brought about largely due to the ongoing war in Ukraine causing a major impact on energy suppliers, plays out in the coming months, which will prove critical to the survival of many confectionery companies. Consequently, appeals have been made to the German Federal Government to provide major business rate relief and support under-pressure manufacturing companies, though action on this appears to be slow moving.

The fact that ISM in Cologne has been postponed from its traditional January position underlines just how testing conditions are, as many sweets and chocolate manufacturers target the year’s markets with activity at the major event, which will now set back their buying patterns in many instances. These are indeed notably challenging times, but the positive of record Santa production levels in Germany, might just offer some hope on the horizon for an easing of conditions next year.

Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production

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Confectionery Production