Importers

French dairy products: most sought after

French dairy products: most sought after



$400m French dairy imports to Mideast

Saudi Arabia has the largest appetite for French dairy in the region, which imported $143.5 million worth of the goods, a share that has risen by 157 per cent in the past 5 years

December 2016

The Middle East is one of the largest importers of French dairy products at over $400 million, according to the latest research from the country’s official cheese board, the Centre National Interprofessionnel de l’Economie Laitière (CNIEL).

The research puts the Middle East ahead of China ($354 million), North America ($270 million), Switzerland ($137 million) and Australia ($30 million), said a statement.

Edwina Salvatori, account director, Sopexa Middle East, said: “As the number of French cheese exporters continues to grow, the market is becoming highly competitive and responsive to consumer needs.”

“As a French food specialist, we are well versed in the popularity of the produce coming out of the country, particularly as it becomes more and more accessible,” Salvatori said.

The destination with the largest appetite for French dairy in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, which imported $143.5 million worth of the goods, a share that has increased by 157 per cent for the past 5 years, it said.

“The tastes of GCC residents are undoubtedly evolving as they become more familiar with French products, particularly as more Middle East residents decide to vacation in European countries such as France,” said M Laurent Damiens, communication director of CNIEL.

“The quality of French produce is renowned around the world, this, in addition to favourable pricing means the Middle East is an extremely important market to us,” Damiens added.

Statistics from Service des statistiques internationals, the French research specialists, further underscore the growing popularity of cheese in the region. The amount of cheese imported from France to Saudi Arabia has almost tripled between 2011 and 2015, to reach almost 10,000 tonnes this year.

During the same period, there was a 21 per cent rise in French cheese imports to the UAE, reaching almost 2,500 tonnes per year, it said.

As the world’s second largest cheese exporter and largest specialty cheese exporter, France produces more than 1,200 varieties of cheese – an incredible 2,000,000 tonnes – 34 per cent of which is exported.

 




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