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China overtakes U.S. as most attractive food market for first time

Staff writer |
China is the most attractive export market for food and beverage companies, according to the 2016 IESE Food and Beverage Attractiveness (FBA) Index.

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The FBA Index analyzes markets for the best business and export opportunities. The United States has dropped to second place, while Germany holds steady as the most attractive European destination in third place.

The study, conducted by IESE Professor Jaume Llopis, researcher Júlia Gifra and Deloitte analyzed 82 food and beverage export destinations.

The index puts China’s success down to several factors, in particular to the 11 percent growth of its middle class with the highest provisions of future spending growth, with the economic and urbanization expansion increasing at a steady pace.

China also boasts many cities with populations larger than many countries – the top five have over 10 million inhabitants – and Shanghai has 23 million.

The United States still remains at the top major global importer of food and beverage. It is third globally for total population and is one of the top ten countries for ease of doing business.

Germany stands out for its spending on importing food and beverages. It is helped along by its expansive middle class – 82 percent of all German households – and stable legal framework.

New to this year’s ranking is Singapore which has greatly improved legal conditions for exportation – in spite of its reduced population. On the other hand, Brazil and Russia have lost attractiveness due to the economic crisis and geopolitical tensions.

When it comes to food exportation opportunities, China has become the market of choice for products like bread and cereals, while the US is top exporter in the world for fish, fruit and vegetables.

Japan imports meat, while India opts for oil and sugar products. Germany continues to be the main importer of eggs and lactose products.

Europe keeps its place as the most attractive continent for exporting with 10 countries in the top 20 index, with Spain taking 13th place. Asia is also very attractive for exporting down to not only China’s market potential, but India and Japan being in the top 10 countries of the Attractiveness Index and Hong Kong in 11th and South Korea in 17th places respectively.

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