The Krones Sales Regions are looking forward to drinktec 2013: MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

In the booming economies of the newly industrialising and developing countries, demand for packaged beverages is showing an overproportional rise. The African beverage market is on course for steep growth rates. Demand for packaged beverages rose by an annual average of around 7 per cent from 2009 to 2012 (source: Euromonitor). There is no sign of an end to the boom: consumption of water, in particular, is expected to keep on rising steeply.

We talk to Horst Meixner, Senior Vice President Sales Middle East/Africa, about his exciting sales region and his expectations from the drinktec.

Horst MeixnerMister Meixner, the drinktec is fast approaching. How important is it for the clients, particularly in your own region?

The drinktec is always the sector’s “family meet-up” for the Near East/Africa region. Our clients have high expectations for innovative products with concomitant benefits and added value.

What does the beverage market look like in your region? What Krones themes are of particular interest for your clients?

Due to limited resources in terms of power and water, sustainability and resource-economy are the primary concerns, followed by manageable and reliable functionality of our lines. Africa is a region with an enormous growth potential, primarily due to its expanding population and the changing political and economic frameworks, which have meanwhile producing some rising levels of affluence. The Near East region, too, possesses a high growth potential, and this despite a mixed record in terms of political stability.

As far as the beverage market is concerned, PET is still showing a definite uptrend, especially with soft drinks and water. For beer, the glass bottle is still the classical form of packaging. Fruit juices are showing rising demand and vigorous growth, due to altered awareness of health issues.

What do you personally expect from the drinktec? Is it still the industry’s most important sectoral meet-up?

There’s no disputing the importance of the drinktec in Munich as one of the world’s premier trade fairs. It’s becoming more and more important to be available to your clients directly on the spot. That’s why there’s going to be a drinktec in Africa early in 2014.

I personally am looking forward to welcoming plenty of visitors especially from my region Near East/Africa. At the same time, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a cordial invitation to everyone to drop by at our stand in Hall B6. And not least, I’m looking forward to some correspondingly successful encounters with our clients.