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Halal Meat in Turkey Part 2: What gap can your company fill?

It goes without saying that Turkey is a huge consumer of halal meat and associated products. Turkish spending on halal food totals over $168 billion annually. With a young, growing population, demand for top quality halal offerings is expected to increase in the near future.
For halal meat suppliers, Turkey offers almost boundless opportunities. 99% of Turkey’s population identifies as Muslim. In addition, societal changes are leading to a shakeup in consumption habits and which products are in high demand. ITE Food & Drink continues its look at the Turkish halal meat market and asked what gap can your company fill?

Halal meat products enjoying high Turkish demand

Turkey imports around 20,000 tons of meat each year. As a majority Muslim nation, pork exports are minimal to non-existent. Poultry and beef however remain very much on the menu for Turkish consumers.
According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, consumption levels of poultry meat are the highest per capita in Turkey. In 2011, the latest available data, poultry meat consumption stood at 19.02 kg/capita outstripping consumption of beef, which totalled 10.34 kg/capita. Demand for poultry products remains the highest.
Fresh meat, previously regarded as a treat for special occasions, is seeing increase consumption levels in Turkey as its young population enjoys higher income levels. According to Global Meat News, desire for fresh meat grew 11% across 2009-2014.
While fresh halal meat is also growing in popularity, so too are frozen and pre-packaged offerings. Young Turks have more money to spend on food and their fast-paced lifestyles are fuelling an increase in sales of packaged food products. Expanding urbanisation rates has led to a rise in attractiveness regarding ready-to-eat offerings. A younger generation of Muslims has also grown up with fast food – thereby offering halal meat suppliers another avenue to explore in Turkey.

A reliance on meat imports for Turkey's Halal sector

Turkey is replete with domestic halal producers. However, it does rely heavily on a number of meat products sourced from overseas. Halal meat is imported by Turkey alongside products to be processed in accordance with halal requirements. So, even if you are not strictly a halal supplier per se, there is still a need for unprocessed meat products sourced from international producers.
Demand for overseas meat and live animal imports isn’t just restricted to Turkey. The country is a member of the 57-state Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). OIC member states import a huge 85% of their meat requirements, demonstrating how international suppliers can satiate Turkish appetites for top quality meat products.
In 2014, 23% of imported bovine products came from Austria. 15% came from German suppliers, with a further 11% coming from Hungary. In the same year, 67% of poultry meat imports were supplied by Brazilian companies alongside 16% from the United States and 10% from Ukraine. 
A number of avenues exist for international firms to get their products exposed to the Turkish food sector’s major players. One of the most effective methods of market exposure is trade shows – specifically WorldFood Istanbul. 
WorldFood Istanbul, which runs from 1 – 4 September 2016, brings together Turkey’s vital food buyers, retailers and distributors with a wide range of international companies. Learn more about the show and the amazing benefits of attending today.

Read part one of our guide to the Turkish halal meat market here


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