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Changing Lifestyles Grow Turkish Desire For Packaged Food and Drink

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Changing Lifestyles Grow Turkish Desire For Packaged Food and Drink

Changing Lifestyles Grow Turkish Desire For Packaged Food and Drink
July 20
12:08 2016

Turkey is experiencing a number of big shifts in its demographics which is having a positive effect on the packaged food market. Since the 1950s, the urban population has expanded. 75% of Turkey’s total population now live in urban areas. Over 20 cities across the country are home to a million or more inhabitants.

Turkey’s population is relatively young, too. Over 60% of population is aged 35 or under.

A busier, urban lifestyle amongst the population is shaping food consumption habits. Traditionally, Turkish consumers enjoyed food bought, prepared and eaten on the day. Things have changed. Now, Turkey’s young population seems to prefer convenience over freshness, which has seen a rise in demand for frozen and pre-packaged offerings. A rise in the number of women in the workplace, who have less subsequent time for cooking, is further fuelling growth in this sector.

Indeed, urbanisation is playing a major role in changing how Turks consume food. A report from Euromonitor revealed that, between 2009-2011, the packaged food market grew 11% alongside urbanisation rates. Demand for packaged food is only likely to increase, providing exporters to Turkish markets an almost future-proof sector to explore.

Frozen Food Gains Prominence

Frozen food is perhaps benefitting the most from Turkey’s shifting consumer patterns. Not only does this open the door for food producers to enter Turkey but also for chilled logistics companies to make their presence known.

Revenues generated by the Turkish frozen food market totalled $1 billion in 2014; the results of a particularly fertile period for the sector. Between 2010-2014 a compound annual growth rate of 4.7% was observed – demonstrating the growing taste for readily available options amongst Turks.

Key food suppliers of frozen food have also seen their revenues grow across comparable periods. Kerevitas, Turkey’s oldest and largest frozen food producers, enjoyed a 14.7% increase in its sales during 2009-2012. Through its brand Superfresh, Kerevitas controls nearly half of Turkey’s frozen market. Kerevitas’ successes are a good indicator of the burgeoning demand for ready-made products amongst Turkish consumers.

Supermarkets Gain Prominence

As Turkey’s population increasingly focusses on convenience, supermarkets based on Western layouts and business models are expanding their food retail market share. Packaged food, and its increased consumption, is helping fuel this trend.

Food is traditionally bought fresh from smaller grocers, known as bakkals, in Turkey. However, as consumers demand greater choice and cheaper prices, supermarket chains such as BİM, Migros Ticaret and A101, are seeing their revenues increase.

The food retail sector in Turkey is worth close to $726 million. Mass grocery sales are expected to increase by 8% year-on-year by 2018.

It is likely that supermarkets will become the pre-eminent way shoppers buy food in Turkey. In effect, this means exporters should be looking to supermarkets to distribute their pre-packaged foodstuffs across Turkey.

Purchasing Power is on the Rise

Young Turks aren’t just convenience-minded. They’re looking for more luxurious products to complement a rise in spending power. McKinsey predicts that in 2016 23% of Turkish households will enjoy annual incomes of $50,000 or higher.

What does this mean for packaged food? It means the consumer class has more spending power and wants diversified, internationally sourced offerings to satiate its demands. Euromonitor identified in February 2016, that Turkey’s population is buying more artisanal breads and cheeses, alongside other pricier products. Turkish imports of mineral water, for example, have increased in value from $34.3 million in 2010 to the current figure of $67.2 million.

Exporters of packaged food to Turkey should therefore be aware of a growing desire for luxury, high end products. Expect this to rise alongside growth in household incomes.

The above trends are just some of the factors powering Turkey’s expanding packaged food market. As the nation progress economically, it will be interesting to see how consumers’ tastes fluctuate. At present, the onus is very much on international and domestic companies alike to offer Turkish consumers a wide range of conveniently packaged options.

If you’re interested in the Turkish food market, why not attend WorldFood Istanbul in September? Find out more at http://www.food-exhibitions.com/WorldFood-Istanbul or to request more information, e-mail marketing@ite-exhibitions.com.

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