Industry news mechanical engineering

29th January, 2021

What will food machinery manufacturing look like in 2035?


The VDMA’s Business Future Study offers an answer to this question with four potential future scenarios.


According to the first future scenario – “Plan beats market – the world looks towards China” – the western industrialized countries are losing their traditional leading role to China. China has the highest economic growth of all countries and is investing more and more in innovative markets, so an increasing focus of China on the machinery market is not unlikely. If this were to happen, the consequences for the business environment of the mechanical engineering industry would be devastating.

The second scenario “Nobody wants to lose”, shows that protectionist developments fed by fears of losses in the western industrialized countries will be dominant. Safeguarding what has been achieved is at the forefront of political and social action. In such a scenario, the market leadership of European manufacturers would remain largely intact.

In the third future scenario, “Consumers exert pressure”, the VDMA describes a future in which enlightened interest groups drive politics and business before them. This would have far-reaching consequences for consumer behavior and production structures, with free movement of goods and data. At the same time, the market leadership of European manufacturers of food processing machinery would be acutely endangered in such a scenario. “Disruptive players” that are more responsive to consumer needs are increasingly playing to the fore and can push established manufacturers out of the market.

In the last future scenario, “hand in hand”, politics, business and interest groups pull together. Similar to the third future scenario, uniform framework conditions prevail worldwide, but in this case with pluralistic characteristics. The market in 2035 is likely to be characterized by high innovation intensity and a pronounced division of labor within companies.

It remains to be seen whether one of these future scenarios will become reality or whether things will turn out completely differently.

(Source: STRATEGIEN FÜR DEN DEUTSCHEN NAHRUNGSMITTELMASCHINENBAU 2035 – Teil 2 der VDMA Future Business Studie „Deutscher Nahrungsmittelmaschinenbau 2035: Branchen-Zukunftsbilder für den Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, p. 5)

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