Electronic business solutions and services are important to 47% of larger European Union beverage companies (grouped with a sample of food and tobacco businesses), according to a European Commission report saying e-commerce is still growing in the EU.

Internet services are considered important by less smaller companies in the sectors: 39% for 50-249 employee businesses and 24% of those employing less than 24 staff.

The report says E-business solutions have focused mainly on improving efficiencies in accounting, administration and stock control. However, the report stresses the drinks industry’s successful use of the Internet to sell goods online (such as wine) that “might not otherwise be accessible to customers.” *Full report - http://www.ebusiness-watch.org/marketwatch/resources/E-Business-2003.pdf