Ranked 17th among the countries with the largest GDP, Turkey remains a major global market economy, with a bucket of cuisines and tastes, its potential having long been recognized by the international community. The most positive features of Turkey’s investment climate are its impressive infrastructure, competition, transparency, strong middle class, youthful population. Although proud of their traditions and culture, the ties with Western countries have made residents, especially young consumers, to extend their taste and adopt a more internationally-minded way of life, leading to the expansion of food imports from around the world.
OPPORTUNITIES AND TURKEY IMPORT TRENDS:
Turkey imports approximately $5 billion worth of food and drinks yearly, especially foreign delicacies and products with no local equivalents. 30% of the overall imported food is coming from internationally recognized edibles, that provide varieties and are compatible with the dynamic lifestyle of young Turks.
- The foodservice sector is seeking Gourmet and foreign raw ingredients:
As the largest food manufacturer in the Middle East and the 7th largest worldwide, the Turkish massive food processing industry and food service sector is constantly seeking gourmet and qualitative international raw ingredients.
The foodservice sector (hotels, cafes, catering businesses, restaurants, takeaway) and fast food businesses are winning more and more popularity in Turkey`s food market, opening doors for suppliers in these categories.
Turkey already spent $3 billion on raw ingredients and relies on imports to cover 85% of market demand, making this a golden opportunity for international traders.
- Healthy food trend:
At present, Turks are leaving behind processed foodstuffs in favor of healthy food consumption, being mindful of food sources, ingredients, and health benefits.
Turkish customers can satisfy their healthy appetite by turning to fish & seafood as an alternative to meat.
Another possibility for food exporters to supply Turkey`s demand for a healthy taste stands in milk and dairy items, especially butter and cheeses like camembert and edam.
Turkey is also the perfect export target for chocolate and cocoa products as the country relies on imports to fuel this sector as a result of insufficient local cocoa production. Dark and low-sugar chocolate may serve as niche opportunities due to being healthier items, a true Turkish consumer favourite.
Although a bit more on the high-price range, sugar-free, gluten-free (baked) products and other value-added products also top Turkish consumer favourites.
Organic and healthy food is currently one of the most influential trends in the Turkish market, with sales forecasted to surpass $170 million by 2020.
- Fruits & vegetables:
Although Turkey is a large agricultural provider, very few countries are self-sufficient in their fruit and vegetable stock. This matter creates constant opportunities for traders of European goods and exotic products to fill the market gap.
- Nuts, confectionery & snacks:
Along with a variety of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and, cashews, foreign snacks, cookies, crackers, and other confectionery goods are very popular in Turkey, with imports totaling over $130m annually.
- Sport & nutrition:
Sports supplements and sports drinks display huge potential as a new and rapidly growing category. Consumers` increasing concern about their physical appearance, along with health, launched a trending interest in nutritious sports products.
Turkish fitness lovers boost the sales of fat-burners, while many bodybuilding enthusiasts are captivated by new flavours and packages of protein powders for their before and after workouts.
In recent years, Turkey has manifested strong growth potential and fast development for food and drinks in the e-commerce sector. While consumer preference for online buying is on the rise, online retailers are encouraged to follow the success of several leading grocery online businesses to launch their own online services.
MARKET ENTRY STRATEGY:
Turkey remains a complex sector for food and agricultural products, so every market entry strategy must begin with analyzing and understanding the costs and import requirements of doing business in Turkey.
Establishing relationships with reliable local partners such as agents or distributors is likewise a key factor that aids to map out the opportunities and properly understand the challenges of entering the Turkish market. A local associate can provide vital knowledge such as language assistance, valuable business contacts, market information, and updates on regulatory issues.
Despite hindered, Turkey`s efforts towards European Union membership have driven the adoption of numerous European standards and market regulations, as well as one of the most liberal legal regimes among the OECD members, to encourage foreign direct investment.
As a result, for the next decade, Turkey will continue to remain a key market for international food and drink items as food imports are a constant aspect in Turkey`s market due to its mix of different cultures, tastes, and cuisines.
3 Food Importers from Turkey:
- Bahçıvan Gıda
Address:Huzur Mah. Cendere Cad.116 Ayazağa, Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 332 12 56
- City Farm
Address: Ayazağa Mah. Mimar Sinan Sk. No:8/1, Istanbul
Phone: +90 212 332 00 10
- Tumen Tarim
Address: Anatolian Mh. Ataturk Bulv. No: 126, Mersin
Phone: +90 324 454 00 88
To get access to a list of more active food importers from the Turkey, you can access one of the BestFoodImporters databases.