EghtesadOnline: Iran exports $700 million worth of pastry and chocolate to more than 60 countries annually. This was announced by Secretary of Iranian Pastry and Chocolate Association Jamshid Maghazei on the sidelines of the 17th Iran International Confectionary Fair.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ivory Coast and Azerbaijan are the main customers of Iranian chocolate and pastry.
Sweets and chocolates account for 30-40% of Iran’s total food exports, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Maghazei, Iran’s pastry and chocolate production capacity stands at 2.5 million tons per year, however actual production is around 1.6 million tons, IRNA reported.
Explaining the reasons behind the below-capacity production, he said raw material prices have soared by 30% recently in the wake of the currency crisis facing the country.
Per capita consumption of pastry and chocolate in Iran is about 2 kilograms per year, but the rate is decreasing because of the increase in prices and decrease in people’s purchasing power.
According to Maghazei, 70% of the machinery used in Iran’s chocolate and pasty industry are produced domestically.
The 17th Iran International Confectionary Fair opened at Tehran International Permanent Fairground on Saturday and will run until Tuesday.
Representatives of more than 400 domestic and foreign companies from 25 countries are participating in the event.
Close to 50% of Iran’s biscuits and chocolates are produced in the city of Tabriz in East Azarbaijan Province.
There are over 850 production units in Tabriz, exporting to more than 50 countries.
Iran’s biggest confectionery company, Shirin Asal, which is also one of the biggest in the Middle East, has recently entered Qatar’s retail market.
“We have already done a market study in Qatar and fortunately there is demand for Iranian products.
People in Qatar are willing to buy products produced in Iran,” Hossein Mahfouzi, Middle East export executive of Shirin Asal, told Qatar’s daily newspaper The Peninsula in October.
“Our future plan is to have a small factory for Qatar market as soon as we get the right feedback [about which product has more demand] from the market.”