Germany is the fourth largest country importing Finnish food. In 2021, Finnish exports to Germany amounted to EUR 119 million. In 2021, German online retail also increased by 16% to EUR 87 billion. The strongest growth took place in food and beverages with an online retail value of EUR 4.5 billion. More than 46 million German consumers have already purchased products from Amazon. Business Finland’s Food from Finland program has discovered the potential of Amazon.de as a sales channel.
"Finnish companies typically seek shelf space in large German chains, such as Edeka and Rewe. A place on the shelf, however, does not guarantee that the product will sell if German consumers are not sufficiently familiar with the product. When making purchasing decisions, retail chain buyers want to be certain that the product will sell. It is now high time to take the growth of online retail into account," says Lili Lehtovuori, an advisor in the Food from Finland program at Business Finland's office in Austria.
Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomat started selling gluten-free and alcohol-free Kukko beer on Amazon.de in April 2021. The company created demand for the product through Amazon's internal marketing as well as on social media by directing consumers from discussion forums to Amazon. The product received excellent consumer reviews, and the return on investment for the advertising campaign was 15%.
"The demand on Amazon grew steadily, and the first full truckload was sold in a few months," says Laitila's Export Director Marko Mikkola.
"Before April, our sales in Germany were very small, and we hadn't joined the German container deposit scheme either, which is a prerequisite for growth in beverages in the local market. Now we have adopted the deposit scheme in our product packaging and we can use it on other channels as well to grow the Kukko brand and support sales on Amazon," Mikkola says.
"Through the Amazon.de marketplace, we have been able to test different product flavors and packaging sizes. It seems that blueberry powder is our biggest seller in Germany, and on Amazon, it sells in a considerably larger packaging size than in stores," says Sales Manager of Kiantama Eija Wall who sells Biokia berry powders to Germany.
So far, the increase in prices has not been reflected in Amazon sales or consumer buying behavior.
"On the platform, we can also sell products to other German-speaking countries. Austria has proved to be the best market for Dried Buddy's jerky products. Our product box of different flavors has gained great popularity in Austria, especially among outdoor enthusiasts and hikers," says Timo Lahti, CEO of Dried Buddy.
With a 53% market share, Amazon.de is clearly the first place of choice for the German online buyer. It has raised the bar for other online retail operators through its wide range of products, fast deliveries, and good customer service. Amazon has also increased its share of the grocery market to about 6%.
"Amazon.de is best suited to high quality specialty products, such as snacks, candies, superfoods, food supplements, and alcohol products. In general, German consumers are interested in clean, healthy, and sustainable consumer products branded in Finland," says Lili Lehtovuori.
Together with its partner Dash Retail, Business Finland's Food from Finland program helps Finnish food companies start selling their products on Amazon Germany. Dozens of food and beverage companies have already made their products available on the Amazon.de marketplace. Kyrö Distillery, Porokylän Leipomo, Helsingin Mylly, Panda, and Fazer sell their products through their own account on Amazon Germany. A dozen or so Finnish food companies operate through a distributor. According to Lehtovuori, opportunities for a much wider range of food companies exist.
The model developed by Food from Finland, Dash Retail, and Teamblue lists products on an account maintained by Teamblue, after which the products are delivered to Teamblue's warehouse in Germany. Teamblue manages the sales account and delivers the products to Amazon's warehouse as needed, while Dash Retail ensures that the products, pricing, packaging sizes, and marketing meet Amazon's requirements and best practices.
- A marketplace survey and an analysis of 12 global marketplaces conducted by Dash Retail on behalf of Business Finland
Source: Business Finland