The sweet stuff: confectionery & chocolate in Turkey

Turkey’s tooth is particularly sweet – at least, according to its per capita consumption of chocolate, candy, and confectionery. It’s a top five consumer, a major producer, and a big fan of all things sweet and sugary.

Turkey: amongst the world’s biggest confectionery markets
Collectively, Turkey’s confectionery market is worth over $3 billion, with sugar candies alone worth in excess of $2.2 billion. Chocolate as a sector holds a market valuation of $1.3 billion. 
In terms of sales volume Turkey represents 11.5% of all sweet treats sold across the entire Eastern Europe region.
The impressive stats don’t stop coming. For chocolate, Turks are the 5th largest consumers in the world, eating an average of 3.1kg per person a year. This puts them just behind the UK and Ireland. For other sorts of sweets, Turkey ranks fourth, behind Germany and the Netherlands, with 1.5kg.
Such volumes weren’t always the case, according to Marc Pauquet, head of WorldFood Istanbul exhibitor Callebout’s chocolate academy, prior to 1997. Before that date, Turkish consumption of chocolate per capita stood at under 1kg. 
However, an increased range of options to choose from, expanding purchasing power, and a number of high-profile chefs blending chocolate into traditional Turkish desserts,  has propelled awareness and consumption to its current heady heights.
What’s more, chocolate has been worked into Turkish culture in different ways. During religious festivals, for instance, sweet gifts are amongst the most popular. In fact, 50% of all confectionery eaten in Turkey is devoured during the great feasts following Ramadan.
Growth in this particularly sector isn’t expected to slow either. Across 2016-2021, a CAGR of 14.3% is predicted, suggesting Turk’s desire for the sweeter things in life is not going to diminish any time soon.
Domestic production high – but creates space for imports
While the domestic market is controlled by Turkish brands, confectionery in Turkey is still wide open to imported goods and ingredients. It should be pointed out, however, that Turkey is a major confectioner in its own right. Turkish candies are exported to around 200 countries worldwide, with exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Total Turkish chocolate output alone comes to 237 thousand tons annually, with other confectionery items showing similar production figures.
Crucially, however, Turkey lacks one major ingredient, without which its chocolate manufacturing efforts would be severely limited: cocoa.
There is no local production of cocoa in Turkey. That means confectionery manufacturers, which cover 2% of Turkey’s massive food processing industry, are reliant on foreign producers to secure one of their core ingredients.
Meet Turkish confectionery buyers at WorldFood Istanbul
Confectionery and chocolate are key parts of Turkish eating habits is moving fast throughout Turkey. To meet the retailers, wholesalers, importers, buyers, and more decision makers, hunting for the latest sweets and candies, be at WorldFood Istanbul.
Exhibiting puts you in front of an audience of over 15,000 buyers from across the whole of Turkey’s food and drink industry. The show is the perfect chance to get your products into a new, massive market; hungry for the very best in chocolate products and confectionery.
For more information, or to book your stand, contact our team today.