The Strategists

An international Immersion for the FoodBev industry

An international Immersion for the FoodBev industry

The Concept

The concept of crafting international learning opportunities for local industries is one built on receiving globalized insights, understanding professional markets, and identifying global strategies and provocation via keynote speakers.

In the case of the FoodBev SETA, this was highly applicable.

The Strategists aimed to expose members of the SETA to the globalised FoodBev markets through physical experience. A well-crafted program catering to every distinct area of the SETA was developed and implemented.

The Journey

Our team ventured forth with SETA members into the following countries:

  • Germany
  • Slovenia
  • India
  • Thailand

The aim was to utilise the strengths of every nation and expose SETA members to industry leaders for insight and knowledge to be taken back home and applied.


  • Germany has the largest food and beverage sector in Europe with a total food retailing value estimated at USD 270 billion (BME, BVEL 2018).
  • The German food and beverage sector is the third largest exporter in the sector globally and employs more than 600 000 people (BME, BVEL 2018). The German food and beverage industry has been recognized for its impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s).
  • The German food and beverage industry has 6,000 companies who collectively generated a production value of USD 200 billion in 2017 (BME, BVEL 2018)
  • The Lower Saxony region serves as the largest agriculture and food-producing region. Hanover is the capital city of the Lower Saxony region
  • Lower Saxony has a representative office in Eastern Cape and Stephan Weil, the Minister-President of Lower Saxony, visited South Africa in May 2018.

Slovenia and Croatia

  • A good analysis of a country with a small land base, which is focusing on the food and beverage sector as an enabler of growth
  • Excellent look at building a regional food and beverage industry
  • The food and beverage industry is the largest industrial sector in Croatia accounting for 24% of total manufacturing industry revenue
  • Slovenia is emerging as a niche food market
  • Good emerging market comparisons and excellent contrast between both economies
  • Programme with the IEDC Bled School of Management


  • India has a population in excess of 1.2 billion people characterized by a the rising middle class, a young population, and a rapid shift in the retail sector with a bigger focus on organized retail.
  • The food and beverage sector in India is estimated to grow from USD 369 billion to USD 1.142 trillion by 2025 with the output of the food processing sector (at market prices) expected to increase to US$ 958 billion by 2025.
  • India serves as a BRICS partner and has a strong relationship with South Africa in the food and beverage industry
  • India has some of the largest food cooperatives in the world
  • Similar emerging market contexts
  • Programme with the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research


  • Thailand is one of the largest economically stable countries in South Asia and the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia. The capital city of Bangkok is a social hub of Thailand with a booming retail industry market.
  • Driven by a growing younger generation and increasing wealth, the consumption of premium foods/beverages, internet retailing, and eating out have risen.
  • The food and beverage industry is the country’s third largest industry, contributing 21% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Major food exports include rice, canned tuna, sugar, chicken meat, cassava products, shrimp, and canned pineapple. The National Food Institute reported that the value of Thai food exports was US$32.7 billion in 2020.

The Outcome

It is evident to see that each country maintains its own benefits and reasons for visitation.

The FoodBev immersion was a major success in which each nation visited provided unique insights for every reasonable question required by the members of the SETA.

Expanding one’s knowledge into a globalised scale is an incredible way to gain a fresh perspective into your own organisational practices and purposes.

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