Among the top 50 producers in the food and beverage industry, which generates more than 50% of the industry’s revenue, estimated at 60 billion lei, are breweries, juices and oil, according to an analysis by ZF based on data from the commercial registry. However, in the case of oil producers, much of the business is created through the agricultural component, specifically the cultivation and trade of grain.
Coca-Cola HBC Romania ranked first, with revenue of 2.4 billion lei. In the following positions are the Ursus Breweries (brewing) and Bunge Romania (oil processing), both of which have a revenue of about 2 billion lei.
In the top ten there is only one meat producer, Smithfield Romania, and the only company to have crossed one billion lei. Thus, while countries with a population similar to Romania, which has a population of 19 million, talk about 1 billion euro food factories, it is still far from 1 billion lei for most Romanian factories.
“I think that local markets need to develop, because in developed countries local producers have a large share, and of course the big companies have the upper hand. In other countries, both models have grown due to experience and access to financing, which we lack,” says Kuzmin. Maglas, CEO and founder of the consulting firm Atragem Financing. He specializes in agri-food.
If we look at the food map, we notice that in ten counties of the country there is only one milk processing plant or none at all, in the case of Karach Severin, Dolge and Olt counties, according to data from the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA). Also, in Ilumitsa and Salaj districts there is only one meat factory in each.
Cosmin Maglas explains that domestic producers cannot develop without investment and without strategic management, noting that Romanian companies grow to the level where they are supported by banks, while foreign companies have access to external financing and receive funds from the parent group, after decades of experience . . But in Romania, capitalism is still young, and after 32 years it cannot boast of third-generation companies.
“For example, European Drinks, producer of Frutti Fresh from Oradea, reached its peak at some point and then started to decline. While Coca-Cola has relied on resources for decades, even in tough times. We lack predictability. Plus, they have CFOs and strategy managers, very good employees, and they’re also very expensive, and we’re still underpaid.”
The consultant also says that vision is required for the business to grow.
“We have examples of local companies, such as Pannemar in Cluj County or Macromex, that developed beyond a clear vision, even though they competed with other richer and stronger producers,” he added.
The analysis only considered companies in the CANE code for the food and beverage industry. See also what the food map looks like by county.