Latin American food & drink in Turkey: the state of play

Latin America is a continent rich in agricultural bounty, but how much of this makes it to Turkey?

Collectively, countries throughout South and Central America are large manufacturers and suppliers on the global food & drink market. Many nations are also quietly exporting a wide variety of goods to Turkish buyers.

With that in mind, join us as we tour this exciting region to discover opportunities for producers in those countries can find in the $8.8bn Turkish import market.

Latin American food & drink exports to Turkey

South & Central Americas’ food & drink potential

Latin American companies export a wide range of foodstuffs to Turkish buyers, including Argentinian chickpeas.

Before we start, it’s worth talking about the typical foodstuffs and produce found throughout the region.

We have a variety of different climates and geographies at play here, which means a wide variety of products are grown, processed and manufactured in the Latin American world.

For instance, the continent is lapped on both sides by the waves of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The seas are bursting with life, which means the region is something of a seafood hotspot. Chile in particular is famed for its salmon.

Fruit and vegetables are a big hit here. After all, Latin America is where both the tomato and potato, two staples of global cooking, evolved here. Countries like Argentina are individual breadbaskets, where produce is grown in great quantities. Citrus fruits are something of a speciality.

Meat too is big business here. Just look at Brazil. The nation is by far and away the largest beef and pork supplier worldwide, and has a big line in poultry exports too. While Turkish meat imports are not amazingly high, it still pays to be aware that quality meat products can be sourced from South American producers.

Turkey’s key Latin American food & drink suppliers

As it stands, Latin American producers aren’t major, major exporters to Turkey – but there is certainly room to grow. More on that later.

Below, we’ve listed the four key exporting nations, as well as their top products, to gauge what the current state of play is for LatAm food in the Turkish market. Take a look.

$555m food & drink export total
11.2% growth year-on-year (2016-2017)

Top products
Coffee - $139m
Soybeans - $113m
Poultry meat - $21.8m


$446m food & drink exports total
32.3% growth year-on-year (2016-2017)

Top products
Chickpeas - $35.4m
Kidney beans - $30.7m
Soya beans - $27.2m


-1.6% year-on-year growth (2016-2017)

Top products
Bananas - $93.5m
Coffee & tea extracts - $2.1m
Processed fruits & nuts - $441,000


$76.8m food & drink export total
4.9% year-on-year export growth (2016-2017)

Top products
Walnuts - $54.2m
Grapes - $1.55m
Shellfish - $1.89m

What can we learn from LatAm food exports to Turkey?

Coffee's a key export commodity for Brazil, one of the LatAm nations exporting food & drink to Turkey.

From the above, we can see an interesting mix in the foodstuffs LatAm exporters are shipping to Turkey.

Importantly, we can see big growth in 3 out of the four nations profiled. Argentina, in particular, is reaping the benefits of increasing Turkish food & drink imports. It’s variety of agricultural products, used as ingredients in many key Turkish dishes, are proving to be of particular interest to Turkish importers.

There’s no clear through-line in the products Turks are buying from South American counterparts. This simply reflects the diversity in produce found throughout the Latin world.

The crucial take away here is that exports are expanding. There plenty of opportunities for Southern American companies to make their mark in Turkey. 

Boavistense, a Brazilian confectionery company, won several containers worth of business at WorldFood Istanbul, and there are many more sectors besides that fit LatAm exporters’ profile.

Check out this article for more information on Turkey’s top food & drink import products.

Certainly, the best route to market is WorldFood Istanbul.

A world of food at your fingertips at Turkey’s largest food & drink exhibition WorldFood Istanbul

As Turkey’s leading food and drink trade show, WorldFood Istanbul attracts the major players of the Turkish food industry, including buyers from across Turkey, including coffee chain owners, other HoReCa sector members, retailers, supermarket chains, and further important buyers.

Over 16,000 visitors from Turkey, the Middle East, Europe, and beyond, attended last year’s show – all looking to find the very best partners and products to expand their operations.

Boost your sales in this thriving geography by booking your stand here.

Need any extra info? Contact us today.