From the tree to the chocolate: there are many Christmas traditions in Germany. Not all of the products come from here – some are imported for the festival.

The Christmas season is important for retail: it’s not just about gifts, but also about Christmas trees and chocolate.

Around 30 million trees are sold in Germany every year. Recently, a significantly higher proportion came from domestic breeding, as figures from the Federal Statistical Office show.

A total of 1.8 million trees were introduced in 2022, 24.5 percent fewer than in the previous year. Compared to 2014, when import figures reached their highest level in the past ten years, the decline was 37.1 percent. The authority did not give reasons for the decline. The majority of Christmas trees imported also came from Denmark in 2022 (83.3 percent).

NRW is a Christmas tree growing region

The trend is towards a larger proportion of native trees. One federal state in particular stands out. Around every third Christmas tree this year comes from North Rhine-Westphalia. North Rhine-Westphalia has the largest growing area, State Forestry Minister Silke Gorißen (CDU) reported on Friday shortly before the first Advent.

The Nordmann fir is most often found festively decorated in living rooms – followed by blue spruce and Nobilis. However, if you want to cut your tree yourself, you should be careful. Without the express permission of the forest owner, it is illegal, the ministry said.

Also fewer candles imported

For most people, the tree alone doesn’t create the Christmas spirit. For many people, especially in the run-up to Christmas, candles on the Advent wreath are a must. But here too, the import volume has recently fallen.

In the first three quarters of 2023, a total of 99,200 tons of candles were imported into Germany from abroad. That is almost 20 percent less than in the comparable period of 2022. Most candles came from Poland (58.7%), followed by China (17.0%) and Hungary (6.3%).

167 million chocolate Santa Clauses

Eating and especially snacking is part of Christmas: the German confectionery industry produced around 167 million chocolate Santa Clauses and Santa Clauses this year. That is one percent less than in the previous year. The Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) announced this on Friday.

In addition, a whole range of industries are hoping for good Christmas business and strong spending on gifts. For example, sales in jewelry and watch retail in December 2022 were more than twice as high as in the month with the lowest sales, January 2022. The pre-Christmas period is also high season in bookstores and toy stores.

This year in particular, retailers are hoping for such effects, because from January to October sales in stationary retail were 3.3 percent lower than in the same period last year.

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