You are currently viewing ‘We’ve crossed one mountain and now face a new one, but our future is green’: Director General, European Snacks Association

However, Sebastian Emig, director general of the European Snacks Association (ESA),​ is confident the future is green – not only in boosting both the health of people and the planet, but also in that there are still enormously exciting opportunities for the industry at every turn.

We caught up with Emig at Snackex, the association’s flagship trade show, fired up after a three-year hiatus, this year staged in Hamburg, Germany.

He told us the past few years have certainly been challenging, with problems ranging from supply chain issues to workers getting COVID, but essentially, the industry has “weathered the storm well.

I must say we did have the advantage with people mostly staying at home and consuming more of our] products,”​ he said.

“Now we’re facing new struggles, new issues with the war in Ukraine, supply chain issues, rising energy costs and inflationary pressures from our consumers. So, just as we’ve come across one mountain, a new mountain is in front of us. But I’m very confident we’re going to come across this as well.”

In person, finally!

The choice of Hamburg for this year’s show – Snackex is held every two years in a different EU location – was to allow the Nordic and Eastern European countries easier access. In 2019, the show was staged in Barcelona, Spain, and Emig gave us a heads up for the next edition, which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2024.

“Hamburg was simply a very practical decision because we wanted to move from the south last time. The next one – in 2024 – is to go even further north.”