US Ranked As Most Attractive Food Sector Export Market

Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2014

26/05/2014 Barcelona

Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2014

The United States ranks as by far the most attractive export market for food and beverage companies, thanks mainly to its appetite for imports in this sector. Next comes China, both because of its 1.36 billion potential consumers, and the 176 million middle-class households. However, Europe is the region that offers the most export potential, as the Top 10 list of attractive markets features six European countries.


Top 30 countries according to the attractiveness index. Source: Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2014.

This is only some of the data presented in the Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2014. The study has been carried out by IESE in collaboration with a Deloitte team. The report has been overseen by IESE Prof. Jaume Llopis, and coordinated by Maria Puig and researcher Júlia Gifra.

The report identifies the most attractive markets for exports out of the 82 countries studied and offers detailed analysis of 34 of the most attractive markets.

Moreover, it includes specific data such as the volumes of imports and exports in certain product categories, demographic distribution and the evolution of countries' age pyramids. The average prices of certain products and the main retailers and brands in each market are also listed.

According to Llopis, the Vademecum is a useful tool for choosing the most promising markets by using the objective and up-to-date data presented in the study. "It allows for focusing internationalization strategies on the most appropriate countries for each product and it provides a practical guide for accessing new markets", the report’s academic director says.

Each country has its own food

A breakdown of the data shows that the United States is the top importer of every kind of beverage featured in the study. But focusing just on food, Japan emerges as the most appealing country, mainly thanks to its hunger for meat, fish, grain and baked-goods imports. Germany leads in terms of imports of dairy products, eggs, fruit and vegetables. India is the top importer of fats and oils.

A sector undergoing transformation

The food and beverage industry is undergoing a profound transformation linked to social changes, changing in consumer habits and shifts in demographics. Among other factors, the study points out the following change generators:

  • consumer habits,
  • shifts in demographics,
  • the evolution of different countries' age pyramids,
  • shortages or surpluses of food in different parts of the world,
  • volatility in the supply of raw materials,
  • polarization of consumer trends in emerging markets,
  • disintermediation in trade,
  • the internationalization of a sector that is key in many countries.

The 360-page Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2014 will be available exclusively to participants in the 18th Food and Beverage Industry Meeting, which will be held June 4, 2014, at the Barcelona campus of IESE.

For more information, see IESE INSIGHT