Iran, a country with more than 80 million consumers, is attracting the interest of a large number of companies from the food industry, both major players and smaller businesses.
The lifting of economic sanctions after decades will allow the Iranian population, a majority of it under 35, to gain access to global food products. Initial studies show a lot of interest for branded goods, but also for higher quality products than those currently available on the local market. A very promising area is the dairy sector, Iranians traditionally being consumers of a variety of dairy products.
The meat (especially poultry), edible oils and confectionery sectors also show a lot of potential. Some important players are already present in Iran, and their experience seems positive – Nestle, Fonterra or Saudi Arabia company Savola.
Among the most important challenges that the international food exporters are facing are the country’s high inflation and the competition of the domestic products, which are usually cheaper. The logistical and supply chain challenges are also similar to those encountered in other emerging countries. Companies should send agents to get to know the local situation, the distributors and their potential and should plan ahead as the market could face important changes in the coming years.