Helping the savoury snacks industry succeed
A Year in Review
2022 was a year full of challenges and unforeseen developments. Director General’s insight
The year was dominated by supply chain issues due to the war in Ukraine. The conflict has disrupted the supply of key ingredients and raw materials, causing shortages and driving up prices. Many companies rely on imports from Ukraine for ingredients such as sunflower oil and wheat, and the ongoing war has made it difficult to maintain a steady supply.
Additionally, high energy costs and inflation are putting pressure on the industry. Rising energy costs have led to higher production costs for manufacturers, and inflationary pressures are making it more difficult for consumers to afford to purchase every-day foods like snacks. Despite these challenges, there are also many opportunities for the savoury snack sector in Europe. One key opportunity for the sector is the growing demand for healthier snack options and the increasing popularity of plant-based products. As more consumers adopt vegetarian and vegan diets and planet-friendly lifestyles there is a growing demand for plant-based savoury snacks. Manufacturers focussing on these trends by offering innovative, healthy, and unique snack options have been the front-runners of our sector.
Have fun reading our insights into last year’s milestones and achievements. My team and I are looking forward to working together with our members to succeed in key policy topics that are relevant for our wonderful sector.
Sebastian Emig Director General* European Snacks Association *in his capacity as permanent representative of PrimeConsulting BXLBCN SL
Another eventful year for the European Snacks Association and the savoury snacks sector. This timeline looks back at last year’s landmark moments. Highlights of the year
February Targeted survey on the revision of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation ESA actively contributed to the survey informing the Impact Assessment of the revision of the Regulation
March European Commission’s stakeholder forums on acrylamide and 3-MCPD-Esters ESA presented the latest progress on the mitigation of acrylamide and 3-MCPD-Esters in the European savoury snacks sector
April ESA monitoring report to the EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices Publication of the first ESA monitoring report highlighting the sector’s contribution to building a more sustainable food system
May First meeting of the ESA Sustainability Working Group Members interested in driving forward the sector’s ambition on sustainability issues gathered for the first meeting of the newly created working group
June 7th edition of Share a Snack in Brussels Share a Snack returns in Place du Luxembourg with an interactive event and plenty of tasty savoury snacks for visitors to enjoy!
July SNACKEX in Hamburg!
Record number of exhibitors for the 19th edition of SNACKEX around the theme “Move your business forward!”
October 1st meeting of the European Commission’s Advisory Group on Sustainable Food System ESA became a member of the new Advisory group in July and participated to the first official meeting
November Snack Production Course Part III “Snack Nuts - Origins to Packet” took place in Malaga, Spain
November Publication of the European Commission’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal After years of preparation, the European Commission presented its long-awaited revision of the EU packaging legislation
Our dedicated committees are at the forefront of the issues to keep members abreast of regulatory and legal developments. Working groups in a nutshell
EC Regulatory Working Group
Nut Processors Working Group
The EC Regulatory Working Group’s (ECR) mission is to protect and promote the interests of the sector, by providing technical expertise and input to the EU policy process and communicating positions to key decision-makers. Engaging with EU Officials was a key priority on the ECR’s 2022 agenda, especially on the issue of food contaminants. ESA strongly advocates for more a realistic and feasible legislative approach to implement food safety management systems, rather than simply relying on the setting of maximum levels. In 2022 the ECR contributed to a number of targeted stakeholder consultations and EU workshops, particularly on the proposals for the revision of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 (Food Information to Consumers Regulation). On acrylamide and 3-MCPD-Esters, ESA attended two EU workshops and presented the latest progress on mitigation within the European savoury snacks sector. With the Ukrainian and Russian crisis and the subsequent supply chain disruptions, ECR actively engaged with other stakeholders, reaching out to DG SANTÉ to ask for a harmonised EU approach to grant temporary flexibility on labelling across the European Union.
The Nut Processors Working Group (NPWG) brings together professionals from across the global supply chain for snack nuts and plays a key role in addressing the sector’s concerns and interests. In 2022, the NPWG closely followed the development on the application of the new Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on Official Controls, organising a meeting with European Commission officials to actively engage with the Unit and to ensure consistent implementation along the entire agri-food chain. Priorities on the NPWG’s agenda included continued discussions on aflatoxins and on ochratoxin A, with a number of RASFF alerts issued during the year. NPWG continues to call for appropriate standards to be applied, dependent on the commodity and its origins. Lastly, NPWG closely monitored the developments of the work on maximum levels for total aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts and associated sampling plan at the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods, providing a technical contribution alongside other key stakeholders.
Helping the savoury snacks
Public Affairs & Communications Working Group
Sustainability Working Group
The main task of the Public Affairs and Communications Working Group (PAC) is to shape the reputation of the industry as a responsible, credible and committed partner in the public and political debate. In 2022, the PAC group continued its work to further highlight the sector’s contribution to building more sustainable food systems and demonstrate the significant achievements of the recent years. Building on the first monitoring report prepared for the European Commission in the context of the EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices, the group worked on a comprehensive sustainability report, including concrete examples from the membership, to be published in early 2023. The year was also marked by the return of ESA’s flagship event in Brussels, Share a Snack, organised in Place du Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament. This 7th edition has been very successful again with hundreds of visitors eager to learn more about the world of savoury snacks! PAC members also followed closely the latest developments on the alleged negative health impacts of processed foods and “ultra-processed foods”. ESA contributed to the preparation of an industry-wide response coordinated by FoodDrinkEurope to the detractors of processed foods, insisting on the multiple benefits of food processing.
The Sustainability Working Group’s (SUST) main role is to discuss the sector’s approach to environmental and sustainability issues impacting the savoury snacks sector. The SUST group was created in 2022 to respond to a growing need to have a dedicated fora for the membership to discuss sustainability issues. The group worked on the preparation of the ESA contribution to the European Commission public consultation on the Legislative Framework for a Sustainable Food System (to be published in 2023). The consultation included amongst others questions on food taxation, restriction of marketing and advertising of HFSS to children, setting of maximum levels for certain nutrients and public procurement of food in schools. Another priority of the group is packaging and the environment. In 2022, ESA continued to share with stakeholders, including the European Commission, the perspective of the savoury snacks sector on how to build a circular economy for packaging, especially flexible plastic packaging. SUST members had the opportunity to discuss the key provisions of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation published end of November 2022, and will continue to promote the interest of the sector in 2023 as the proposal will be extensively debated in the European Parliament and the Council.
A programme of capacity building activities which offer outreach, education, business opportunities and networking. Focus on events
The 19th SNACKEX edition in Hamburg was by far the biggest and best show ESA has ever organised with very high marks from both our exhibitors and visitors! SNACKEX again gathered savoury snacks and savoury snack nut producers and suppliers coming from over 90 countries under one roof and offered unrivalled opportunities to network in an environment that is conducive to business. SNACKEX also featured its varied and very popular programme of key topic industry sessions, including panel discussions on a circular economy for packaging as well as on sustainable sourcing and agriculture. Attendees also had the opportunity to share expertise and get up to date with best practice type of sessions via its prestigious Knowledge Centre, one of the main attractions of the show floor open to all visitors. The next edition will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, on 19 – 20 June 2024.
Snack Production Courses
ESA’s programme of snack and nut production education courses are designed to provide delegates with a thorough, well-rounded and interactive grounding on industry best practice and the latest applications of new technology delivered from acknowledged experts. Snack production courses are a great opportunity for all production and marketing-oriented personnel to meet, network, exchange good practices and to share their own experiences and challenges with peers and expert industry speakers. In November 2022, ESA gathered participants in Malaga, Spain, for a 3-days course focusing on snack nuts, working through all the steps, from origins to end of line. The session programme also included an insightful visit of the Dafisa almonds factory near Cordoba, one of the most advanced nuts processing plants in Europe, as well as a hands-on peanuts flavouring workshop!
Share a Snack
After two years of absence, the ESA team was delighted to celebrate the return of ESA’s iconic summer event “Share a Snack” for its 7th edition in Brussels, at the heart of the European institutions. As in previous editions, a happy and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a great variety of snacks from all over Europe, including the latest innovations. The participants learned more about (and tasted) our products, as well as about the sector’s ambitions in the path towards a more sustainable food system. Visitors also had the chance to test their knowledge and challenge their perceptions on the sector with a short interactive quiz which was taken close to 300 times during the evening.
Europe’s only trade organisation dedicated to advancing the savoury snacks industry on behalf of member snack manufacturers and suppliers. Who we are
Headquartered in Brussels, we are recognised as the voice of the industry before the European decision-makers, and other key stakeholders since 1961. ESA has a broad international membership of manufacturers and companies supplying equipment, ingredients, and services to the industry. ESA’s membership groups some 200 companies of all sizes in 40 countries, and ESA members represent approximately 80% of the branded European savoury snacks market.
200 Companies membership
40 Countries represented
80 European branded savoury snacks market %
Board of Directors
Sebastian Emig Andrew Curtis Silvia Tombesi Olivier Devaux
Almond Board of California Intersnack Group Kellogg Company Kerry Importaco Lorenz Snack-World
Mars PepsiCo International Rosenqvists Food Technologies Unichips Zweifel Pomy-Chips
Regulatory & Scientific Aairs Regulatory & Scientific Aairs Public Aairs & Communications
Events & Membership
*in his capacity as permanent representative of PrimeConsulting BXLBCN SL
A wide range of services and benefits for you and your business. What we offer
Access to information
Involvement in working groups
Rue des Deux Églises 26, BE-1000 Brussels, Belgium T: +32 (0)2 538 20 39 email@example.com www.esasnacks.eu www.snackex.com
The voice of the industry in Europe
VAT: BE 0675.418.819 ESA EU Transparency Register number: 00849042167-65 This report is printed on FSC ® certified paper comprising 100% virgin fibre from well managed forests and other controlled sources and can be disposed of by recycling, incineration for energy recovery, or is biodegradable.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
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