It may be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but Denmark is a major business hub with a very well developed food sector that has deep trade connections with the rest of the world. Denmark’s main attractiveness comes from its very high per capita income, its position as the top country in Europe for ease-of-doing-business and its affinity for fine food and drinks. In the following article we’ll try to analyze what are the main products that the Danish food importers are looking for and which trends dominate the current market.
A Booming Economy
The Danes are among the most affluent consumers in Europe, as Denmark prides itself with a high GDP per capita ($60,897 in 2019) and a standard of living that places it 11th in the world. The low inflation rate coupled with a low unemployment status gives the citizens generous budgets to spend on food and other comfort items.
With a diverse and sophisticated food landscape, the Nordic country relies on various imports, especially fresh produce and fruit and is a champion of the healthy living trends that are present in Northern Europe. Also, people in Denmark love good food and wine and the country’s prestigious restaurants are a testament to this.
Denmark’s retails sector is highly consolidated, as the country’s top 3 groups Coop, Dansk Supermarket and Dagrofa, own close to 85% of the market. Discounters also handle large volumes while independent grocers are almost completely absent.
Huge opportunities for organic / health food exporters
Producers of organic and various health food products will find the Danish market extremely welcoming, as the Danes take the first place, not only in Europe but in the world, when it comes to the consumption of organic food. Per capita spending on organic foods and beverages is around $140, a global record.
A lot of the food is locally grown, as the government invests a lot in organic cultivation, but imports are also major. The growth rate for this sector is expected to be around 5% per year until 2022, signaling a mature, stable market.
Organic dairy products represent around 40% of the market, followed by fruit and vegetables (carrots, potatoes), cereals and nuts (especially almonds, where most imports come from the US, followed by Sweden, the UK, and Germany).
Organic coffee reported the biggest growth in the organic beverages category, an excellent signal for coffee producers looking to enter the market.
Gluten-free and lactose-free products are also gaining traction and are a good bet long-term, as these trends fuel sales even for consumers that do not have intolerances.
The Danish fish and seafood market is also very dynamic and even if Denmark exports large volumes of products from this category, it is also a major importer. Shrimps, for example, are seeing a significant increase and imports are coming mainly from the US and Asia.
We can’t forget Denmark’s impressive wine market, with its focus on natural wines – you can read more about it here.
Finding and dealing with importers
Compared to other countries, doing business with Danish importers can be quite easy, as most of the business owners speak English and, as mentioned above, the country has a superb business environment. However, these tips could help.
– Be punctual and don’t waste their time. They are very business-minded and love it when people keep to timing and are straightforward with their proposals
– Even if the country has significant purchasing power, try to offer competitive prices as they are always looking for the best value for money
– Good partnerships are built in time but they are not affected by a rigid hierarchy and bureaucratic processes that slowdown business procedures in many other countries. Decisions can be made surprisingly quickly
– Denmark is a good place to try new concepts and trendsetting products, as its consumers appreciate innovation. High quality, attractive and well-designed packaging is also vital
– Being an EU country, make sure that your products respect all the regulations and standards. A good source of data can be found here .
Three food importers from Denmark:
Address: Møgelbakken 5, Lystrup
Top products imported: Organic Products, Health Food
- Albanigades Fisk
Address: Søndre Havnekaj 10, Kerteminde
Top products imported: Fish & Seafood, Meat, Frozen Food
- Geia Food
Address: Fuglevænget 9, Aalborg
Top products imported: Cheese, Pasta, Fruit & Vegetables, Olive Oil, Fish & Seafood
To get access to a list of close to 200 active food importers from Denmark, you can access one of the BestFoodImporters databases.