The F&B industry is the second largest in Egypt in terms of value added, and the largest in terms of industrial employment. It achieved an average growth rate of 20% during the five-year period from 2015 to 2020.
Driving growth has been a shift to increased production for domestic consumption and exports. Egyptian food processors and manufacturers are taking advantage of Egypt’s central location in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region to increase exports to nearby regional markets.
The value of food industries and agricultural crops exports in 2020 amounted to about $5.720 Billion, which accounts for 22% of Egypt’s total exports. Top exported foods include beverage concentrates, frozen fruit, confectionery and processed cheese. Other exports gaining global market share include olives, dried onions and oranges.
Egyptian processed and manufactured food products are import-duty exempt in nearly all of the Arab and African export destinations.
Opportunities: Untapped potential
The rapidly growing demand for food in Africa fueled by rising population and faster economic growth presents greater market and trade opportunities for domestic agriculture.
The value of Africa’s food market is expected to be more than triple to $1 trillion by 2030 which would unlock enormous opportunities for farmers, food processors, and agribusinesses alike, particularly through domestic trade.
A successful expansion of intra-continental trade share from 10 to 52% by 2022, as expected by the African Union Commission, promises significant growth and food security for individual African countries.
Egypt has increased its interest in exporting to neighboring African countries. In 2018, trade exchange between Egypt and African countries increased by 23% to $6.9 billion, compared to $5.6 billion in 2017, and Egyptian exports to African countries increased by 26.9% to reach $4.7 billion in 2018, compared to $3.7 billion in 2017, according to CAMPAS.
Public and Private Sector Initiatives
The Egyptian Parliament has approved the law number 1/2017 establishing the National Food Safety Authority on Monday 2, January 2017. The Law was published in Official Gazette on January 10, 2017. NFSA is an open and independent authority to protect consumers’ health and consumers’ interests by ensuring that food consumed, distributed, marketed or produced in Egypt meets the highest standards of food safety and hygiene.
The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) has launched a new initiative to support small projects affected by the coronavirus, especially industrial and labour-intensive sectors, through exceptional short-term loans, up to a year, to secure the necessary liquidity for operation expenses until the crisis is over.
Tech startups that reshaping the F&B industry:
Trella: is an online marketplace that connects shippers with carriers for freight transportation.
Wedel: is the provider of an app for booking of on-demand trucking services. It allows companies to request freight shipment and delivery services on-demand.
Flextock: Offers end-to-end e-commerce fulfillment solutions. The company offers storage & fulfillment solutions with a process tracking facility.
Pamojan: Cross-boarder B2B marketplace, connect local manufacture/suppliers to overseas merchant wholesalers, and to market and brand Egyptian products to raise the country’s export profile in the international markets.