How much food & drink flows between India and Turkey?

Turkey has long been the bridge between Europe and Asia. Many foodstuffs, ingredients and flavours flow through it. It’s here that Indian products have been found for centuries – but what about the present day?

Both Turkey and India are vibrant countries, bursting with bustling life and business potential. Crucially, each nation is also a major food & drink producer and global trader. A wide variety of agricultural goods pass between both countries.
The opportunities for Indian food & drink in Turkey are rising. Busier lifestyles, a more internationally-focussed mindset, and a willingness to try new cuisines makes Turks receptive to fresh tastes and ideas. This is a trend Indian firms can capitalise on. Let’s find out how in more detail.

India-Turkey food & drink trade


Indian foodstuffs' potential in Turkey

To start, we need to take a look at the current state of play between Turkey and India, food-wise. As of 2017, says the MIT Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) online trade database, the bilateral food & drink trade between these two countries amounts to $244.7m. 
Putting this in a wider context, complete bilateral trade, taking in all product groups and merchandise, amounted to $7.2bn in total. Overall, food & drink represents 3% of the wider trade picture. So, small, but there is definitely room to grow.
For example, India’s food & drink exports to Turkey totalled to $203m in 2017. From this, we can see the balance swings in India’s favour, when it comes to mutual food imports and exports. Actually, that $203m represents a 17.1% year-on-year increase.
It’s interesting to see which items Turks favour the most, when it comes to importing food from India. The top five products, by value, are:
• Tea & coffee extracts - $47.1m
• Chocolate - $25.4m
• Rice - $14.6m
• Chickpeas - $13.7m
• Molluscs (octopuses, cuttlefish, etc.) - $4.21m

Breaking down the most popular Indian foodstuffs in India

Starting from the top, by far and away the largest product group by volume is tea & coffee extracts. In fact, this accounts for a quarter of India’s food-related exports to Turkey.
So, what are these used for? Well, extracts and essences have multiple applications. In this instance, it is likely they are being used for ingredients, as Turkey is the 7th largest food producer globally with an extensive manufacturing complex, or used as health supplements in and of themselves.
Healthy eating is one of Turks’ top priorities right now. Coffee & tea extracts are often used in food supplements, or used to fortify products with extra nutritional benefits. With that in mind, it’s quite easy to see why Indian producers are targeting Turkey.
Up next is chocolate. Now, confectionery, and chocolate in particular, is very big business in Turkey. Turks love sweet treats and candies of all shapes and varieties, but by consumption, chocolate is their favourite confectionery variety. 3.1kg worth is eaten every year – roughly three quarters of all confectionery eaten in Turkey annually.
What’s more is India is actually Turkey’s second largest supplier of chocolate and finished products, i.e. chocolate bars, or chocolate-flavoured candies. With its exports worth $25.4m, and an imported chocolate market share of 20%, India falls behind only Germany, which controls 33% of Turkey’s import market.

Turkey & India eye up closer ties

Across the first eight months of 2018, Turkish-Indian overall trade, incorporating all merchandise and product types, hit $8bn. Talks are now afoot to bring both nations even closer together. By 2020, it is hoped bilateral trade will have reached a cool $10bn.
Food & drink has been identified as one of the potential sectors. Additionally, food production equipment and machinery is one area both nations are keen to expand, so there is a lot of activity in the pipeline to be aware of.

A quick look at Turkish food & drink exports to India

As we touched on earlier, Turkish exports to India are much smaller than India’s to Turkey. It may be worth pointing out that, over time, Turkey has shifted from a net exporter to a major importer of food & drink products. This may explain why Turkish food is less in focus in India.
With $40m in exports to play with, what kind of foodstuffs is Turkey sending to Indian buyers? It’s actually fairly similar to what India exports to Turkey.
According to the OEC, the most popular Turkish items in India, by value, are:
• Chocolate - $6m
• Dried legumes incl. lentils, peas & chickpeas – $5.76m
• Whey - $4m
• Apples – $3.98m
• Fruit juices - $3.06m
It’s a bit of a mix, but it appears that Indians want to buy both raw goods and finished products from Turkish manufacturers.

Join us at international food & drink exhibition WorldFood Istanbul

Worldfood Istanbul is visited by thousands of industry professionals every year, including retailers, wholesalers, HoReCa sector representatives, and many more.
It is the ideal place to get your products seen by the Turkish buyers who matter most, reach a new sales geography, and grow your sales in Turkey and beyond.
They all attend the show to find the latest products from international producers – so be there to grab your slice of Turkey’s $8.8 billion import market. 
You can book your stand here.
Contact our team today if you have any further questions, or would like more information on how WorldFood Istanbul can help you grow your business.