In addition to energy drinks, lemonades and ice teas, the "export kings" of the Austrian food and soft drinks industry also include confectionery as well as pastry goods and other specialities. Since Austria joined the EU in 1995, exports of products from the food industry have increased by more than 500%. The regional diversity of the products and the sustainability in production are particularly important to the Austrian producers.
In Austria, there are companies with a lot of experience and a long tradition on the one hand and newcomers and start-ups on the other, who are drawing on the great culinary culture of the country with their own ideas. Many of the Austrian companies are SMEs, which makes a strong customer orientation and a special focus on the quality of the products possible. Furthermore, the Austrian companies are putting great faith in the regional origin and in the health concept.
Tradition and international successes
Austria's food and soft drinks sector has many companies whose history extends back into the nineteenth century. With an awareness of tradition and successful innovations, they are contributing to Austria's good image as a supplier of products of the highest quality.
A successful Austrian developer, producer, refiner and marketer of durable, non-chilled food and drinks of premium quality also looks back at 160 years of company history, like an Austrian family-run business that today exports its fruit juices, ice teas and teas into 70 countries.
A company that has devoted itself entirely to the topic of seasonings and whose roots lie in a paprika mill established in 1881 has an export percentage of around 70%. And Austria's market leader on the jam and honey market that today employs 300 people started out at an old Austrian "fruit steam plant".
The hazelnut waffles of a traditional Austrian company that bear the symbol of the place where the company was established, the Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral), on their packaging are known all over the world. Even today, this speciality is still produced in the capital.
New interpretations of drinks
With a unique marketing concept, an Austrian energy drink, inspired by functional drinks from the Far East, was launched all over the world. It has been an export success since the 1980s and is drunk in around 170 countries of the world.
Another Austrian company is expanding the range of energy drinks with products from green tea that are non-carbonated, natural and environmentally compatible. The drinks are certified lactose-free, gluten-free, "bio friendly" and vegan.
An algae refreshment drink also comes from Austria and is internationally successful. It was presented with the "taste15" at the world's largest food fair ANUGA Cologne as a top innovation of the year 2015.
Enjoying with a good conscience
The future will bring changed consumer behaviour for the food and soft drinks industry and the Austrian companies are already well prepared for this. They are flexible in the product design, many of them do not produce any mass goods, but are instead niche players, which makes optimum adjustment to new developments easier. Austrian products are leaders particularly in the future areas of organic, functional food and in products against intolerances.
Consumers expect health-promoting, natural and tasty products that have not been produced with the aid of chemical pesticides. That is why the seamless traceability of the production chain is particularly important. The AMA seal of quality for milk and dairy products, for instance is involved in the quality assurance in the entire production chain from raw milk to drinking milk and to the dairy products and sets higher standards than the criteria defined by law.
The wide range of regional products offered by the Austrian food industry also makes an important contribution to environmental protection. Firstly, the producers pay particular attention to protection of the landscape and clean water, and secondly short transport routes save harmful emissions.
An important topic is also that of a healthy diet. A trend towards vegetarian and vegan products, consideration of low-fat diet, fewer sweets and more organic food offers new opportunities for Austrian companies of the food sector.
New paths are also being forged in the packaging. For instance, there is an Austrian energy drink in a can made of paper laminate, a type of packaging that has a better environmental record than conventional cans made of aluminium.