IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing the competitiveness situation of EU food and drink manufacturing industries: An index-based approach


  • Christian Fischer

    (Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research. Institute for Food, and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany)

  • Sebastian Schornberg

    (Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research. Institute for Food, and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany)


The competitiveness of the food and drink (F&D) manufacturing sector in 13 countries is analyzed empirically, using 1995-2002 Eurostat data. After a review of earlier agribusiness competitiveness studies, an Industrial Competitiveness Index is proposed as a composite measure for multidimensional economic performance, covering profitability, productivity and output growth. The index approach enables relative competitiveness comparisons across industries, countries and over time. In addition, cluster analysis is used for identifying distinct groups of industries characterized by similar performance patterns. The results suggest that the beverage manufacturing industry was the most competitive EU F&D industry, while the United Kingdom was the country with the highest performance averaged across all F&D manufacturing activities. As compared to the average of the period 1995-1998, overall competitiveness in real terms slightly increased. At the same time, overall competitiveness seems also to have converged slightly across countries, implying that the performance of EU countries in F&D manufacturing has become more similar. As for the clustering results, it appears that competitiveness is in general fairly equally distributed across the different industries and that above- or below-average performance is usually not sustained for long. [EconLit citations: F230, L660, Q130] © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Agribusiness 23: 473-495, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Fischer & Sebastian Schornberg, 2007. "Assessing the competitiveness situation of EU food and drink manufacturing industries: An index-based approach," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 473-495.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:23:y:2007:i:4:p:473-495 DOI: 10.1002/agr.20139

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reinert, Erik S., 1995. "Competitiveness and its predecessors--a 500-year cross-national perspective," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 23-42, March.
    2. Traill, Bruce & da Silva, Joao Gomes, 1996. "Measuring international competitiveness: The case of the European food industry," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 151-166, April.
    3. Kennedy, P. Lynn & Harrison, R. Wes & Piedra, Mario A., 1998. "Analyzing Agribusiness Competitiveness: The Case Of The United States Sugar Industry," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 1(02).
    4. Jeroen Hinloopen & Charles Marrewijk, 2001. "On the empirical distribution of the Balassa index," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(1), pages 1-35, March.
    5. Klaus Drescher & Oswin Maurer, 1999. "Competitiveness in the European dairy industries," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 163-177.
    6. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aleksandra Gawel, 2014. "Entrepreneurship in Relation to the Competitive Potential and Position of Economies," Theory Methodology Practice (TMP), Faculty of Economics, University of Miskolc, vol. 10(01), pages 9-20.
    2. Antonio Bubbico, 2013. "Administrative Continuity: Enhancer or Constraint for Regional Governments' Efficiency?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p493, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Requillart, Vincent & Nauges, Celine & Simioni, Michel & Bontemps, Christophe, 2012. "Food Safety Regulation and Firm Productivity: Evidence from the French Food Industry," Congress Papers 124378, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    4. Luh, Yir-Hueih & Jiang, Wun-Ji & Huang, Szu-Chi, 2016. "Trade-related spillovers and industrial competitiveness: Exploring the linkages for OECD countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 309-325.
    5. Dordevic, Dejan & Bogetic, Srdan & Cockalo, Dragan & Besic, Carisa, 2012. "CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT IN FUNCTION OF IMPROVING COMPETITIVENESS OF SMEs IN SERBIAN FOOD INDUSTRY," Economics of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Economics, vol. 59(3).
    6. Bahta, Sirak & Malope, Patrick, 2014. "Measurement of competitiveness in smallholder livestock systems and emerging policy advocacy: An application to Botswana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P2), pages 408-417.
    7. Jan Schiefer & Monika Hartmann, 2008. "Determinants of competitive advantage for German food processors," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 306-319.
    8. Bontemps, Christophe & Nauges, Celine & Requillart, Vincent & Simioni, Michel, 2011. "Technical Change vs Efficiency Change: How do Food Industries Evolve Over Time?," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114262, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:23:y:2007:i:4:p:473-495. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.