Central Asian International Food Industry Exhibition
2-4 November 2022
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan & India food trade: Business opportunities uncovered at WorldFood

Kazakhstan & India food trade: Business opportunities uncovered at WorldFood

At 2017’s edition of WorldFood Kazakhstan, many Indian companies made their way to Atakent Exhibition Centre Almaty to meet and do business with Kazakhstan’s key food and drink buyers.

Apart from WorldFood’s peerless mix of networking opportunities, world-class food and drink products, and a unique business programme, what brings Indian companies to Kazakhstan?

We spoke to several Indian companies at the show to get a deeper understanding on why they were there – and the export opportunities Kazakhstan holds for Indian companies.

Kazakhstan: the ideal destination for Indian tea

“Through our tea board in India, and through our presence in Russia and other CIS countries, we were alerted to the potential of Kazakhstan,” Surendra Chauhan of LMJ International told us at WorldFood Kazakhstan 2018. “We have a massive variety of tea, which we can offer to Kazakhstan, and we can see a lot of potential in the market.”

Mr Chauhan is not wrong. As tea markets go, Kazakhstan is one of the most enticing. 99% of Kazakhstan’s 17 million population drinks tea daily. 50% drinks four or more cups a day - a fact that keeps newcomers’ and seasoned veterans’ attention fixed on Kazakhstan.

For Deehr Shah at the Jivraj Tea Co. such consumption levels made entering the Kazakh market an easy decision.

“We’ve chosen to come to Kazakhstan because it’s one of the world’s biggest markets for tea,” Mr Shah said at WorldFood Kazakhstan. “Here, tea is consumed far more than coffee, which makes it the perfect market for us.”

Kazakhstan’s total imports of tea and associated products came to $112m in 2016, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s online trade database. Of this, Indian suppliers’ goods covered $38.8m – or just over a third of total tea imports.

Kazakhstan is the fifth largest consumer of Indian tea globally.

Tosh & Sons, an Indian tea company with over 125 years’ experience, has been exporting tea to Kazakhstan for some time. Building on a strong brand reputation throughout the CIS, Tosh & Sons entered the Kazakhstan market over a decade ago – and have some solid advice for new companies looking to do the same.

“It’s all about finding the right partner,” a member of Tosh & Sons’ team at WorldFood Kazakhstan told us in 2017. Finding the correct distributors, retailers, and importers is essential to success in any foreign market – and WorldFood offers exhibitors the chance to meet Kazakhstan’s key buyers.

Confectionery and spices: further export avenues to explore

Vijay Chaitanya of Ravi Foods, a “one-stop shop” for confectionery, began exploring the strength of the Kazakh market at WorldFood Kazakhstan 2017, off the back of recommendations from existing clients in Russia and the CIS.

“Our contacts tell us Kazakhstan is a big market for confectionery, and through them we are in Kazakhstan,” Mr Chaitanya said. “For products like ours (biscuits, chocolates, wafers, butter cookies and all sorts of confectionery items), we believe Kazakhstan has great potential, based on our success in the Russian market.”

Kazakhstan’s annual imports of confectionery items, including biscuits, chocolate, and sugar candies, amounts to roughly 112,800 tons. This is nearly half of total domestic production – and shows the deficit that Kazakh manufacturers alone cannot overcome. Imported goods are in high demand.

That said Kazakhstan is a big food processor; a regional leader in Central Asia. Certainly, food and drink manufacturing is a large economic sector, roughly 5% of GDP, and is crying out for quality ingredients suppliers to really step up its game.

Enter the Spice Board of India.

The Spice Board of India brought its own delegation the WorldFood in Almaty in November 2017 and enjoyed a solid response from Kazakh buyers. Flavourit, an Indian brand, was asked for specifically by name – so brand recognition can play a big role in swaying purchasing decisions.

Indian brands: meet new partners at WorldFood Kazakhstan

World Food Kazakhstan is a wide-ranging exhibition, showcasing the very best products to Kazakhstan’s food and purchasing decision makers. The event has become a major meeting place for the industry, welcoming thousands of visitors from Kazakhstan and the wider Central Asia region, and hundreds of international exhibitors.

For Indian producers, it is the place to meet over 5,000 professional buyers, including retailers, wholesalers, HoReCa sector players and many more Kazakh food and drink industry figures.

Interested in taking part? Book your stand here.
For more information, contact a member of our team today.

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