Commercial Food Processing Machinery

An Expert's View about Food Processing in Australia

Last updated: 24 Mar 2011


This project covers product categories including machinery for food production and food preparation processes. Examples include machinery for canning, sealing containers and bottles; and machinery for processing meat, dairy products, flour milling, slicing machinery, juice extractors, commercial toasters and processing packaging machinery.
The value of the commercial food processing machinery sector is US$1.2 billion, with imports accounting for US$680 million. The U.S. is highly regarded for performance and technology and currently holds a 12.5 percent market share in the Australian market. The Australian commercial food processing machinery sector is currently experiencing a growth rate of 5 percent, which is being driven by an increased interest in nontraditional markets such as, vitamin water, energy drinks, new lines of soft drinks/sodas and varieties of other food.

Market Demand

The most significant factor affecting the commercial food processing machinery sector is that Australians continue to demand high quality foodstuffs using gourmet food and as a result of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) are entertaining at home more frequently.

According to 2009-2010 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Food and beverage processing is Australia’s largest manufacturing industry with sales and services income around US$78 billion accounting for around 18 per cent of manufacturing employment. Meat is the largest segment, with a 26 percent share. Next are grains (19 percent), followed by wine, dairy and sugar.

The demand for food processing machinery is also being driven by other factors such as an interest in health foods. There is a push in Australia toward organic, gluten-free and functional foods, and a greater awareness of the health benefits of such foods. Adding impetus to the sector is also the increasing demand for prepared meals, with the majority of these meals sold in major supermarket chains of Coles and Woolworths. Such foods are resulting in an increased demand for specialist and lower capacity food processing equipment. IBISWorld estimates that the useful life of machinery would range from 15 to 20 years before needing reconditioning or replacement. The availability of locally produced ingredients, in order to reduce costs, is also a strong influence on sector activity.

Major areas of growth in food manufacturing in Australia are flour mill and cereal products; sugar, bread, cakes, biscuits, beverages and malt sub sectors. Likewise, with Australian tastes becoming more diverse, the outlook for a greater variety of food equipment is expected.

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Posted: 23 March 2011, last updated 24 March 2011

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