Turkey is one of the fastest growing markets for Norwegian salmon

Habits are changing – so we also change in Turkey! Urban, modern life combined with an increasing focus on nutritious and healthy food is pushing the Turkish population towards consuming more fish- especially from Norway.

The HoReCa market for seafood is becoming more attractive which is why Innovation Norway in Istanbul is planning to arrange a Norwegian seafood event directed towards this segment in 2017.

Turkey is a growing economy with its young, dynamic population and large domestic market, combined with strong infrastructure and improved public services.
Turkey is in a transformation process where the key trends are diversifying the market. The urbanization rate is around 70%. The urban middle class is growing with an increased consciousness on nutrition and healthy lifestyle.  More Turkish people are eager for good food with interest in international cuisine. Also the presence of women in business life is changing the typical social life order of the community.

A promising future for Norwegian seafood

Although Turkey is a conservative country with a fairly low seafood consumption of 8 kilos per capita today; the developments in the country are creating growth opportunities for Norwegian seafood. The EFTA agreement between Norway and Turkey secures zero custom duties for the Norwegian seafood. European standards have been accepted by the retailers and HoReCa market is in a good development process. Additionally, the fishing ban during the summer season in order to enrich the local species contributes to a shift towards imported fish.

State Secretary, Dilek Ayhan at fish market

Photo: En Son Haber News Portal, State Secretary, Dilek Ayhan participating during Norwegian Seafood seminar in December 2014

As of today, the majority of the Turks in bigger cities prefer to eat twice to three times outside. There is a shift from the traditional retailers to modern retailers where Norwegian seafood can be found in a corner shop to hypermarkets. Nowadays most of the restaurants serve many types of Norwegian seafood, especially salmon. The interest in sushi is also increasing.

Norwegian seafood export to Turkey has grown from 250 MNOK in 2006 to 866 MNOK in 2015.

Norwegian salmon in Turkey

Norway has approximately 50% market share of the total seafood imported to Turkey today and more than 90% market share of salmon. Turks have a strong preference for fresh fish species and Norwegian salmon arrives in Istanbul less than 4 days after it’s taken out of clear and cold waters of Norway. You can find fresh Norwegian salmon in Turkey the whole year.

Norwegian mackerel – do you have an appetite for “Balık & Ekmek” ?

Balık-ekmek is the common word for street-food  fish  in Turkey which is grilled Norwegian mackerel served in bread together with green salad, onions and tomatoes.
Turkey is among the biggest importers of Norwegian mackerel with its strong preference for the taste. Mackerel arrives to Turkey frozen and can also be found all year around.

Eminönü / Istanbul – Norwegian mackerel counters to serve “balık-ekmek”

Photo: Innovation Norway, Eminönü / Istanbul – Norwegian mackerel counters to serve “balık-ekmek”

The future – more collaboration between Norway and Turkey

The new market dynamics indicate that the future of seafood consumption in Turkey will force the market players to adapt the new opportunity areas as well as introduce more seafood species from Norway. The fruitful cooperation between the two countries in recent years is a good indicator for more mutual agreements and areas of bilateral work.

In 2017 we are planning to arrange a HoReCa event towards this sector where the key trends and future aspects will be followed up and discussed further.

Please contact Innovation Norway Istanbul for more information.

Gülin Kan Yükseltan, Senior Market Advisor
Phone: +90 212 284 43 62
M: +90 532 260 82 84

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *