In a year marked by economic volatility, Spain’s food and beverage sector presents a paradox. The 40 largest groups operating in the country reported an increase in sales amounting to €6,649 million in 2022. However, their operating income saw a decline of €5 million. This article aims to dissect this intriguing scenario, exploring the factors that led to rising sales but falling profits among major players like Nestlé, Mahou, Deoleo, and Calvo.

The Inflationary Impact: A Double-Edged Sword

Spain has been grappling with inflation for the past two years, affecting the shopping basket across the board. While this has led to an increase in sales for food and beverage companies due to price hikes, it has also had a detrimental impact on their operating income.

The Profit Squeeze: Rising Costs and Shrinking Margins

Despite the increase in sales, companies are facing a squeeze on their profits. This is largely due to rising operational costs, including raw materials, labor, and logistics.

The Role of Leadership: Navigating Through Uncertainty

The industry’s top executives, including Sol Daurella, President of Coca-Cola Europacific; Javier Dueñas, CEO of Campofrio España; and Bosco Fonts, CEO of Cerealto Foods, are navigating their companies through these challenging times.

Consumer Behavior: The Elasticity Factor

The increase in prices has inevitably affected consumer behavior. While sales have increased, the question remains whether this is sustainable if operating income continues to decline.

The Global Context: Spain in Comparison

It’s essential to place Spain’s food and beverage industry within a broader global context. How does Spain compare to other markets experiencing similar economic pressures?


The Spanish food and beverage industry is at a critical juncture, experiencing the paradox of rising sales but falling profits. As companies navigate through economic uncertainties, the strategies they adopt today will have long-lasting implications for their future profitability and sustainability.