Entry Into Iraq’s Food Products Market: Canned Food Products

Iraq is a young country and its population is currently growing at a rate of 2.32% per year, which means adding approximately 1 million people every year. Thus, Iraq can be an attractive market for food and beverage industries that want to enter this market. On the other hand, considering the recent economic growth in this country, the food and drink industry is one of the highest growth potentials in the coming years. There is a significant relationship between economic growth and food product consumption.

According to the statistics of customs, in recent years, there has been notable growth in exported canned food products to Iraq. There are different brands of canned vegetables, fruit, and meat in the market in Iraq. The major destinations for canned food products are the big cities of Iraq including Baghdad, Mosul, Basra, Nasiriyah, Sulaymaniyah, and Erbil. Table 1 shows a list of canned food products in Iraq and the usual country of origin.

Some of Canned food products exported to IraqSome of the usual countries of origin
Tomato pasteJordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Italy, China, Iran, India, United States of America
Mixed vegetablesChina, Jordan, Iran
PeasJordan, China, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, United States of America, Canada
BeansPortugal
OlivesJordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Italy, Spain, China, Brazil
Sweet cornSpain, China, Thailand
HaricotEgypt
OkraEgypt
PineapplesChina, Philippines, Thailand
MushroomsChina, United States of America
Canned fishChina, Iran, India, Thailand, United States of America
Canned meatJordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Spain, European Union, China, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Brazil, South Korea

Most popular canned food products in Iraq

There are different canned food products in chain stores in big cities in Iraq. But some canned foods are more popular among Iraqi consumers. Some of these popular canned food products are seen in the bellow table.

Popular canned food products in Iraq
Canned meat (beef, chicken)
Canned fish (Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, Sardine)
Olives (Black and green)
Green peas, blacky peas and chickpeas
Reb beans, Green beans, White beans, Large broad beans, and Kidney beans
Tomato Paste
Vegetables (Mushroom, Corn, Eggplant, and Carrot)

Brands with various canned food products in Iraq

There are more than 70 brands of canned food products in Iraq but some of them present a rich category of products. The table below shows some of these canned food product brands, their countries of origin, and some of their products.

BrandsCanned food productsCountry of origin
American GardenHamburger Peas and carrot Mushroom Crushed Tomato Beets Green beans Blacky peasUSA
DurraVegetables Chunk tuna Bean Peas and carrot Chickpeas Tuna Tomato pasteJordan
ValenciaLarg broad beans Mushroom Chickpeas White beans Green peasPortugal
KasihMushroom Tuna Green peas and carrot Green peas chickpeasJordan
Maxim’sMushroom Corn Smoked meat Hotdogs TunaGermany
Abu Al WaredTuna Green peas Chickpeas Sweet corn  Jordan
AlbayroutyWhite bean Kidney beans ChickpeasJordan
HanaaChopped tomato Kernel corn Light meat tunaItaly
AltaghziahHotDogz Tuna Beef luncheon meatLebanon
BaidarCorn Tuns luncheon meat‎Saudi Arabia

What factors affect consumers’ decision-making about purchasing canned food products in Iraq?

There are 2 groups of standards that are important for consumers considering canned food products:

Standard related to quality characteristics,

Standard related to packaging and labeling.

Quality characteristics include concentration, color, and taste, while metal packages are preferable to glass containers. Also, easy-open cans are more popular than regular ones. The name of the food, list of ingredients, net content, and drained weight are information that Iraqi consumers look for when checking canned food products in stores.

Canned food products advertising in Iraq

Although there are different brands of canned food products on shelves of stores in the various areas of big cities in Iraq, there are no notable marketing campaigns for such products.

In Iraq, advertisements include the installation of the desired brand sign in the wholesale shops in the market. Also, some local businesses and wholesalers have been acting as agents for imported brands.

Outdoor advertising is a common form of advertising in this country and advertisers use billboard postings and distributor machines for advertisements.

Distribution channels

There are 3 major distribution channels in Iraq including distribution companies, private distributors, and local wholesalers.

Due to the dominant culture in Iraq and inter-tribal relations, the wholesalers sometimes use the connections of the tribes to operate in the market. For example, wholesalers sell products on credit in this market.

Before entering the market and cooperating with wholesalers, it is important to check their records and gain information about geographical distribution.

How GIIRAC can help you?

GIIRAC as an Iraqi market research company can provide you with information about market size, competitors, required resources (technical capabilities, skills, assets, equipment, finance, and relationships), environmental factors, and modes of market entry.  Based on this information businesses can implement strategies to optimize their resource arrangement in a competitive market.

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