Turkey imports around $5 billion worth of food and drink goods each year. For exporters, it’s a great market - and one that is opening up to a whole host of new products. Besides enjoying traditional food groups, such as meat, dairy and fruits and vegetables, Turkey’s young, internationally-minded, consumers are expanding their palettes.
Food retail claims 62% of total retail sales for a value in excess of $130 billion. An increasingly diverse range of items stock the selves of Turkish supermarkets, grocers and bazars across the country. They are being joined by these five up-and-coming food and beverage varieties – opening up further paths for exporters to tread when it comes to exporting food to Turkey.
Turks are increasingly turning away from processed foodstuffs and want something a little healthier. Organic and health food is one of the hottest trends on the Turkish market at present, with sales expected to exceed $170 million by 2020 – almost double 2015’s total of $90 million.
What was once only for the well-off is becoming ever more affordable with every passing year. Organic produce is now a cost-effective alternative to conventional offerings – more so as Turkey travels towards OECD High Income status. Amongst the most popular products are cheese, baby food and sweet treats such as chocolate, jams, and yoghurt.
Turkey has long been a natural land bridge between East and West, making it a melting point of cuisines and tastes. Thanks to their growing income levels, recently passing $11,000 per capita, more Turks are heading overseas and sampling foreign foods in larger quantities. These two factors are powering a growing demand for gourmet and internationally-sourced ingredients.
The HORECA sector is seeing an increase in the number of outlets offering cuisines like Tex-Mex, Chinese, Thai and Japanese. Subsequently, a space for ingredient producers to expand into Turkey has opened - not only in supplying Turkey’s 41,000 food processing companies, but also through expanding into the $300 billion Turkish food service industry too.
Cocoa & chocolate
There is no local production of cocoa in Turkey. This means that confectionery manufactures, representing 2% of the Turkish food processing industry, rely solely on imports to make their products.
Elsewhere, Turkey’s confectionery market has grown at a CAGR of 14% in recent years, hitting a total of $3.1 billion in 2014. Specifically, the market for chocolate has been growing 10% year-on-year, double the global rate of 5%, which ultimately makes Turkey the ideal export destination for chocolate and cocoa specialists. Be mindful though: products like dark chocolate are quickly becoming consumer favourites – due to lower sugar content and a public perception of being a healthier snack.
Imported baked goods, such as biscuits, pasta, and artisanal breads, are present on Turkey’s food and drink market. They tend to be sold in upper-to-middle income retail outlets, for example speciality stores or foreign-owned supermarkets.
However, with Turk’s annual incomes expanding annually, sales of internationally-sourced baked goods are expected to rise. Those products with the best chances for Turkish success are those that have an edge over locally-produced variants. Gluten or sugar free products, diet-focussed offerings, or other added-valued varieties, are more likely to secure super shelf spaces as they given consumers a reason to pay a little more over domestic brands.
Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts are classic confectionery items in Turkey. While the nation is a major producer of dried nuts and fruits, there are still some products imported in huge volumes by Turkey – establishing another route for exporters to pursue.
The United States, Turkey’s chief supplier of walnuts and almonds, sent $300 million worth of tree nuts to the Turkish market in 2015. This only goes to show how large the market is for dried natural snacks. Chile and Ukraine are also big nut suppliers, demonstrating Turks’ international tastes when it comes to dry nuts.
Discover Turkey’s food import market at WorldFood Istanbul
For exporters, the Turkish import market holds billions of dollars’ worth of opportunity. To take advantage of this, you need to connect with Turkey’s biggest food and drink buyers. There is only one place to do this: WorldFood Istanbul 2017
WorldFood Istanbul is the largest and the most successful food and food processing exhibition in the country, attracting over 13,000 visitors each year. The event is the perfect platform to get your products in front of a dedicated audience of food and drink professionals, including distributors, retail representatives and HORECA sector members.
If you are interested in exhibiting at WorldFood Istanbul, or want to discuss more ways you and your business can take part, please contact us today to learn more.