Turning a passion for gastronomy into business

One of the biggest food clusters in Europe

The food and drink industry is the Catalan economy’s largest industrial sector. Led by meat industries, this sector is highly developed thanks to a thriving ecosystem and the presence of the entire value chain. The Catalan food and drink industry is well positioned internationally due to its unique gastronomy, featuring renowned products as wine, cava or olive oil.

Over 2,700 companies in Catalonia constitute one of Europe’s largest food clusters. With 19.7% of the industrial turnover, the food & drink sector is Catalonia’s most important industry, employing 18%of the workforce, and generating a turnover of over €26bn (an increase of 8.9% between 2011 and 2015). The Catalan food & drink sector represents 23.9% of the Spanish Food & Drink turnover. 

With a good combination of SME’s and some large Catalan firms and international firms such as Danone, Cargill or Nestlé, Catalonia provides critical mass and talent at all stages of the value chain, as well as cost-effective qualified professionals. We are home to one of the world’s most important food & drink trade fairs, Alimentaria, the leading packaging fair Hispack and Bta., the food industry equipment & technology fair.

Dynamic and open to the world

Top exporter: With a a positive trade balance since 2009, over the last decade Catalonia food & drink exports have represented 11.3% of Catalan exports and have concentrated 28.5% of Spanish total food exports. Catalonia is home to 29.8% of the regularly exporting companies of the Spanish food sector. Accounting for 39% of the total, meat processing and preserving and meat products are the strongest exporting subsectors, followed by others such as manufacture of beverage (12.9%) and vegetables and animal oils and fats (10.8%).

First destination for foreign investment: From 2013 to 2017, Catalonia has been the top food and drink FDI destination in Spain, representing almost 1/3 of the Spanish sector in terms of projects (31%), capital investment (34.4%) and jobs created (37.6%). 27 FDI projects were recorded in Catalonia, between 2013 and 2017, according to FDI Markets data. These projects represent a total capital investment of €626.5M, and 2,459 jobs created.

Number 1 in gastronomy, creativity and innovation

Gastronomy is big in Catalonia with many restaurants having Michelin stars, thanks to a dynamic blend of tradition and innovation. Ferran and Albert Adrià, the Roca Brothers or Carme Ruscalleda, to name just a few, put Catalonia on the worldwide culinary map.The gourmet food sector is growing rapidly with high gastronomy, organized food service, and local and international consumers searching for unique, quality products. Top research centres as IRTA, CTNS, Alicia, and Eurecat, among others, ensure that Catalonia stays ahead in food innovation.

Find the whole value chain in Catalonia

Catalonia is home to food clusters representing the main subsectors and the whole value chain of the food and drink industry: 

  • Meat Cluster – Innovac: Spain is the fourth world producer of processed pork. Catalonia produces ca 1.6 MT of processed pork per year (44% of Spanish pork production) 71% of Spanish exports are generated in Catalonia. 
  • Wine & Cava Cluster - Innovi: Catalonia is home to around 10,000 winegrowers and some 600 wine cellars. There are 12 DOs (Guarantee of Origin), producing a varied and versatile range of wines. Torres, Codorniu and Freixenet are major Catalan companies and exporters in the sector. 
  • Compound Feed – ASFAC: Catalonia produces 4.3% of the EU compound feed production and 20% of Catalan feed production is exported. 
  • Olive Oil, Nuts and Fresh Fruit are Mediterranean products, traditionally grown, industrialized and exported from Catalonia. 
  • Aquiculture
  • Gourmet Products 
  • Nutrition & Health Cluster – AINS 
  • Food Packaging & Machinery 
  • Food Service Cluster gathers main suppliers, distributors, specialized logistic companies and organized demand such as Areas, Sehrs or The EatOut Group.

The Catalan food & drink sector, top in new trends

Barcelona-Catalonia offer a sophisticated market, the whole food and drink value chain, top research centers, talent and know-how for Food & Drink investments projects. "Free from" products, gourmet gastronomy, healthy food and drinks, and ready-made meals are the main food and drink trends in Catalonia, where investmen opportunities arise in:

  • Animal feed & Compounding
  • Food manufacturing
  • Food logistics
  • Food packaging
  • Foodservice
  • Food waste management

Feel free to contact us for further information

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Tel: (+34) 93 4767287

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Download the Food and Drinks in Catalonia Snapshot

The food and drink industry is the Catalan economy’s largest industrial sector. Led by meat industries, this sector is highly developed thanks to a thriving ecosystem and the presence of the entire value chain.

Catalonia has all the ingredients to build your food & drink investment, as well as an innovative food culture to make it grow.

Nestle manufactures Dolce Gusto at its factory in Girona

Bernard Meunier. General Manager, Nestlé España.

With innovation, investment and great people, you’ve got all the right ingredients for success.