The food retail sector in Egypt continues its rapid development. More hypermarkets and supermarkets are sprouting in suburban Cairo and Alexandria.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE
BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S.
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number:
Retail Food Sector
Julio Maldonado & Salah Mansour
The growth in the consumer food retail sector in 2008 and 2009 was primarily due to continued population growth,
relatively strong economic growth despite the global downturn in 2009, and the presence of new international and
domestic retail companies. Changes in consumer lifestyle, as Egyptian consumers become more westernized in their
work hours and eating habits, along with the presence of more women in the workforce, contributed to increased retail
and food service sales. Tourist arrivals also remained strong with over 13 million tourists visiting Egypt in 2009. The
economic climate will further improve as the global economic crisis is resolved, breathing new life into the ever growing
I. MARKET SUMMARY
While the global financial crisis has reduced the growth rate in the catering business in Egypt by about 15-20%, retail sales
have increased by the same proportion due to the expansion of international chains, variety of products offered and an
increase in the level of income and brand advertising. The food retail sector in Egypt continues its rapid development.
More hypermarkets and supermarkets are sprouting in suburban Cairo and Alexandria in addition to more supermarket
chains establishing a position in the rest of the governorates, primarily the Red Sea resort area. Carrefour (France) now
operates 6 stores and has a plan to open 18 new stores over the next 5 years including 16 small express stores. Makro Cash
and Carry (the local brand of the Dutch Metro chain) expects to open two outlets in 2010. The local Metro supermarket
chain has 39 branches now and its affiliated class B and C food chain ?Kheir Zaman?, operates 21 branches.
a) General Background
- Egypt?s population is around 79 million (2009); the largest cities are Cairo (15 million) and Alexandria (5
- GDP? current prices (US dollars / 2009): $188 billion
- GDP per capita (2009): $2,380 or $6,000 on a purchasing power parity basis.
- Inflation rate (2009): 10.1 percent
imports (2009): $44.0 billion
- Total food and agriculture imports (2008) $10.9 billion
- Total U.S. food and agricultural imports (2008): $1.9 billion
- Total U.S. consumer oriented products (2008): $230 million
- U.S. food and agricultural market share (2008): 17.5%
- Overall modern retail food service : LE 7.8 billion in 2003 and LE 9.2 billion in 2008 (Source ? Euromonitor,
although this appears to be an underestimate).
b) Highlights and recent trends impacting the retail sector:
The demand for ready-made foods is growing rapidly as the increasing number of women entering the work force pushes
the demand for convenience-based food even further. The traditionally family-run stores are gradually declining in number
as the numbers of independent modern supermarkets and hypermarkets rises. The Egyptian market is expanding, especially
the number of supermarkets in the rapidly developing upscale urban areas around Cairo. Acceptance of Western products is
expected to bring more Western chains into the country.
New entries in the market were led by multinational players. Consumers' lifestyles changed and they started to be more
prone to spend than save. This affected the market positively and brought high growth, which encouraged international
companies to enter the Egyptian market. Thanks to the large number of shopping centers, which are frequently visited by
shoppers, foreign companies could find ideal retail areas with little risk. The U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland,
Greece, Holland, Denmark, Thailand and China are the dominant suppliers of consumer-ready food products to Egypt.
The introduction of hypermarkets (store area of more than 5,000 square meters), supermarkets (more than 450 square
meters), and mini markets (more than 150 square meters) is helping to re-shape the retail industry as well as the shopping
habits of customers. One of the biggest challenges to expansion is the limited availability of shelf space. Hypermarkets need
a large plot of land for sufficient retail space and storage area and large parking lots which is not available in Central Cairo.
However, land is available in the rapidly developing suburban areas.
Sales of packaged food and consumer foodservice in 2009 has increased due to the increase in GDP and the good economic
conditions; thus contributing to the growth in retailing. While GDP increased 7.2% in 2008, the economy turned in a
relatively respectable 4.7% growth in 2009, thanks in part to government economic stimulus efforts. GDP growth is
forecast in the range of 4.5 to 5% in 2010. Socio-demographic factors were also very favorable to retailing, with population
growth of 2% over 2009. Home delivery service is becoming very popular among the large retailers. The objective of the
delivery service is to create customer loyalty while also providing convenience. Some of the retailers charge an extra small
fee for delivery. It is becoming a big business in Egypt since it is convenient for customers with Cairo?s infamous heavy
traffic and also contributes in hiring many young people.
Internet retailing is a new trend that is currently rising. Many retailers such as Metro and many small retailers are currently
viewing the Internet as the number one medium for advertising their products. Internet access has became more affordable
for the average citizen recently and many websites have been launched with the intention of increasing consumer
expenditures via the web.
The Sinai, Red Sea, Luxor and Aswan regions are currently Egypt?s main tourist destinations. This includes the cities of
Hurgada, Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Soma Bay and Marsa Alam, all of which are heavily populated with tourists from all
over the world. The influx of tourists in such areas has encouraged more food retailers to open outlets in Hurgada and
Sharm El Sheikh. El-Sheikh Abdallah Group and 24/7 Company opened in Sharm El-Sheikh, and Metro and Spinneys in
The three main formats for retail stores in Egypt are:
Hypermarkets have become the first choice for shopping among consumers and have encouraged existing local retailers
such as Hyper 1 and multinational companies such as Makro, Spinneys and Carrefour, to enter and expand in Egypt. Rapid
expansion has continued in the Hypermarket sector their number has increased by 8% in 2008 with sales reaching $200
million for the year. International rivals maintain their leadership despite aggressive competition from local operators. It is
expected that in the next few years consumers will change their daily shopping habits into more organized weekly ones
through use of hypermarkets. Egypt can accommodate 30-40 hypermarkets in the next five years. Currently there are 10
outlets including Carrefour (6), Spinneys (2), Hyper 1 (1) and Al Mercato (1). Four outlets are expected to open in 2010:
Makro Cash and Carry (2), Hyper 1 (1) and Ragab Sons (1). Makro, at least initially, plans to operate as a big box
wholesaler, oriented toward food service operators and small retailers who purchase case lots or extra large sizes. About
55% of the sales of the existing hypermarkets are grocery products and 45% are non-grocery. New competitors are likely to
enter the hypermarket business including Lulu, one of the leading hypermarkets in the UAE.
Hypermarkets have been well accepted, especially by families. They offer a one-stop shopping experience for their
customers. Hypermarkets use economies of scale to keep prices low. Their business model is based on low overhead,
expanding the number of stores located in the outskirts of major cities where property prices are lower and selling large
volume of goods at low profit margins. The savings are passed along to the consumer. One way in which hypermarkets
were able to shave percentage points off their prices is by lowering their packaging costs. They also negotiated contracts
with local suppliers to supply a growing line of private label brands therefore employing economies of scale while
satisfying a demand for cheap and high quality goods. The desire to sell at the lowest possible prices initially discouraged
hypermarkets and supermarkets chains from importing goods which were subject to high tariffs and lengthy customs
procedures, however, tariff reductions in Feb 2007 and the prospect of a less burdensome customs clearance process has
encouraged these chains to revive plans to stock imported goods.
The opening of City Stars Mall and Hotel Complex in Downtown Cairo in early 2005 caused a dramatic boost to the
Egyptian retail industry. This center is the largest shopping mall in the Middle East and North Africa, with a 14,000 square
meter Spinney?s hypermarket, three international hotels, 16-screen multiplex cinema, food court, living compound, a large
play center for kids, a medical facility and a world class business center with 70,000 square meters serving multinational
and major local companies. City Stars, set between the two relatively affluent suburbs of Heliopolis and Nasr City, was a
natural place to open the first outlet for many international clothing and food stores. The mega?mall complex became a
magnet for Cairo?s business community and the shopping location for its higher income consumers.
Carrefour was the first international hypermarket to open in Egypt. It succeeded in changing the way Egyptians shop by
making it possible to buy everything under one roof with a weekly shopping list rather than visiting a series of small
groceries, meat and produce vendors on a daily basis. This change has prompted some local retailers to reinvent
themselves. The first branch of Carrefour was fully functional by the end of 2002 and now operates 5 additional stores -
four in Cairo (including a small express store) and two in Alexandria of over 8,000 square meters. This French international
retailing concept is targeting Egyptian middle-class families and is relying on local goods primarily. The average daily sales
at a Carrefour are $325,000 (the highest is the El-Maadi outlet with daily sales of $545,000). About 97% of the displayed
products are Egyptian and the rest are imported primarily from the EU and Saudi Arabia. Carrefour currently stocks over
530 private label products and is expected to increase this number shortly. The chain has plans to open 18 stores in Egypt
over the next 5 years (16 small express ones of 2,000 square meters and 2 larger ones), beginning with a location on the
Suez Road that is expected to draw customers from nearby trendy and upscale, Heliopolis. It also intends to open stores in
the yet-overlooked Delta cities.
One of the major international newcomers to the retail sector in Egypt is Spinneys, they opened their first 13,500 square
meter outlet at City Stars Mall in 2006 and the second one opened in Al-Obour city in the suburbs of Cairo. The average
daily sales at Spinneys are $225,000. The opening of Spinneys has increased competition not just for Carrefour but also for
supermarket retailer Metro. Spinneys plans to open branches in some of the capital?s most populous areas. Plans are in place
to open outlets in Zamalek, Mohandessein, and Sixth of October City.
An Egyptian retailer, El-Hawary, has opened the first domestic-operated hypermarket under the Hyper 1 name in March
2005. The two-story outlet is located in Sixth of October City about 20 Km west of Cairo. It is considered more discount
oriented than the average Carrefour market, and appeals to the average and lower income groups. Hyper 1 will open its
second branch at Al-Obour city in the beginning of 2010.
B) Super markets:
Even with the increased number of hypermarkets, supermarkets are still one of the most important channels in grocery
product sales in Egypt because they are much more fragmented and still monopolized by the local retailers. Sales of
supermarkets in 2008 increased by 18% compared to the previous year. The number of supermarkets continued to grow at
the expense of older retail format small grocery shops. Their number continued to increase and reached 550 supermarkets
in 2008 with a sales value of about $1.6 billion. 96% of their sales are grocery products and 4% are non-grocery items.
Although supermarkets will continue to grow, they will lose market share to hypermarkets as many consumers shift their
shopping loyalty to this convenient and modern format. Leading the supermarket pack are: Metro, Kheir Zaman, Ragab
Sons, Al-Mahmal, Abu Zekri, Seoudi, Alfa, Abba, Al-Hawary, Zahran, Oscar and Royal house.
The supermarket sector has been progressing rapidly over the past ten years in Egypt.
There are now an estimated 550 independent supermarkets in Egypt built with western style concepts. About 220 of these
are in Cairo. Inner-city sites are the most popular as products are mainly aimed at the middle to upper-class customer.
Shopping in modern and clean supermarkets with a variety of different products is becoming a lifestyle and leisure activity
among Egyptians. There are also a growing number of smaller chains. There are several domestic chains such as Metro,
Ragab Sons, Abu Zekri and others featuring open and modern stores with wide product ranges including imported Western
products in inner-city areas. The chains may be small in comparison with typical Western supermarket chains but the trend
is worth noticing.
Metro Markets has about 39 branches under Metro name and 21 branches of Kheir Zaman as an affiliated sister division for
Metro, targeting class B and C consumers. Both offer a wide variety of fresh foods and a quality range of groceries. Metro
averages daily sales of $13,500 per store, compared to $21,000 for Ragab Sons (15 outlets). In June 2006, Metro opened its
first discount store under the Kheir Zaman banner name, and it now has 21 outlets. Kheir Zaman was developed to target
the lower income shoppers in the densely populated areas of Cairo. The chain boasts the most competitive prices in the
market and provides only local brands or locally manufactured international brand name products. More stores are planned
for similar areas. The stores have a promising strategy likely to be a success in the Egyptian market. Metro has purchased
60,000 square meters in 6th of October City as a storage area. The cost of building this new warehouse is expected to reach
about $17 million.
The sales of dried, chilled, frozen and canned/preserved foods are growing fast due to the increased number of supermarkets
and hypermarkets, especially in suburbs. Dried processed food sales such as rice, pasta and dehydrated soup reached $900
million (1 million tons) in 2009. Chilled and processed food ?mainly meat and seafood- occupied the second place with a
sales value of about $190 million (35 TMT) in 2009, up by 16% in value and 4% in volume from the year before. Frozen
processed food mainly meat, processed meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables and processed potatoes reached $135 million (33
TMT) in 2009. Canned/preserved food value sales reached about $75 million (19 TMT) up 12% from the previous year.
The most important canned/preserved foods were fish and seafood, meat and meat products, vegetables, tomatoes, beans
and canned fruit.
C) Convenience Stores:
Egyptian consumers are beginning to expect cleanliness, quality and a wider variety of products. Consumers are currently
asking for convenience and shopping at supermarkets is becoming a leisure activity. Consumers depend less on
neighborhood grocery and convenience stores except for last minute spur of the moment food needs. In the suburbs and less
developed areas of Egypt, grocery and convenience stores still play an important role in the retail business. Retailing is
highly fragmented; largely dominated by single-outlet operations in the largest retailing formats, including independent
grocers, food specialists and leisure and personal goods retailers.
The biggest share of the retail market is still held by traditional stores and it will take a long time before supermarkets will
acquire a dominant position. It is estimated that 90-95% of the food outlets can be categorized as small grocery stores.
Supermarkets account for no more than 5% of the outlets. There are currently around 140,000 small grocery outlets of
which only 10,000-12,000 are equipped with freezers; there are no more than 550 outlets that could be categorized as
supermarkets, included in this count are the hypermarkets and the medium?sized supermarkets. The rapid growth of the
supermarket sector is hindered by the fact that a large part of the population still lives in poverty and is unable to buy
products in the more expensive supermarkets.
Sales through modern convenience stores grew steadily in 2009. There number is increasing. There total number reached
224 units. Most of them have a sit-in space, which is generally popular with young people, thereby increasing product
purchase. The continuous development in new residential areas and roads and the increase number of car owners have
contributed in these developments.
Convenience stores are more important in the new residential areas and on the main highways. Hot weather has helped in
the increasing number of these stores especially on the highways. The majority of the new established units are very
modern, air-conditioned, and offer high quality products and services.
Exxon-Mobil is the leader with about 74% value share with its brands Mobil Market, Esso Snack and Shop, and On the
Run. The latter is a unique with a value share of 31% of the convenience store in 2008 in Egypt. Its leadership comes from
the fact that it is a convenient, comfortable modern store for the young Egyptians. It is the only outlet that supports its
operations with heavy advertising and consumer promotion.
TABLE 1: ADVANTAGES / CHALLENGES IN THE EGYPTIAN MARKET
Out of 80 million Egyptians, about 15 million can Lack of product availability and limited
afford to purchase imported food products. income.
Egyptian import regulations such as Halal
requirement slaughtering for beef and
poultry, and labeling requirements are too
Products perceived as both Western and new-to- Lack of U.S. supplier interest in the
market have a wide appeal to Egyptians. Egyptian market.
U.S. products are perceived as "high quality."
Tariff on most processed food products
ranges from 20-30% in addition to 10%
Expansion of the number of supermarket chains. With the growing size of supermarket
International companies interested in the Egyptian chains, the desire to introduce a broad
market include, Carrefour, Makro Cash and Carry array and new-to-market products is
Egypt (opens in 2009). strengthening.
II. ROAD MAP FOR MARKET ENTRY FOR U.S. SUPPLIERS
The following facts should be recognized by the U.S. suppliers:
* U.S. suppliers who are interested in doing business in Egypt are encouraged to visit Egypt in order to better understand
the potential of the market.
* U.S. exporters should closely consult with FAS/ Cairo and importers to ensure that Egyptian import requirements are met
in order to avoid unnecessary delays at customs. The customs/health clearance process can easily run up 30 days once
products have arrived.
* Production and expiration dates are mandatory and Arabic/English labels or stickers are required.
* Egyptian importers can use various tools, such as free samples, advertising, in-store displays, and price discounts during
* Contact FAS/Cairo to obtain a list of local advertising media; advertisement in monthly magazines is effective when
targeting a specific audience. Also, there are specific magazines for hotels and restaurants.
* FAS Cairo occasionally works with U.S. cooperators to organize a variety of market development activities including in-
store promotions, trade shows, cooking demonstrations in cooperation with Egyptian importers, retailers, hotels, restaurants,
institutions and companies. For more information, please contact FAS Cairo on how to participate.
* Shipping consolidated containers is advantageous to importers. Local importers tend to purchase small quantities to
introduce and register new-to-market products until they are confident that the product has market potential. In most cases,
the market capacity is not ready to absorb a whole container of a single product. However, processed products with
nutrition claims, even to being vitamin enriched, must be registered with the National Nutrition Institute prior to
* American suppliers require that most payments be issued part in advance and the balance to be transferred after the
shipment has sailed and documents are presented. To avoid banks charges and fees, many transactions are conducted
through direct money transfers and not through opening letters of credit which in Egypt are expensive and require 100%
* U.S. suppliers must make sure that products are continously available in the market in order to build product loyalty.
Suppliers should appoint a reliable distributor, who understands the import requirements and cultural practices (halal), to
ensure that products are available in sales outlets at all times.
A. ROAD MAP FOR: SUPERMARKETS, HYPERMARKETS, AND DISCOUNTERS
International Supermarkets and Hypermarkets
Three multi-national food retailers have started to invest in Egypt:
Makro Cash and Carry, Egypt has just arrived. Makro will open large wholesale stores for professionals,
hotels, restaurants, offices, etc. Product lines will includes fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, in
addition to dry and canned goods. The company is targeting to open its first two stores in May and July
Spinneys opened its first outlet in Cairo?s at City Stars in 2006 and the second one opened in Al-Obour
City in the suburbs Cairo. The opening of Spinneys has increased competition not just for Carrefour but
also for supermarket retailer Metro. Spinneys plans to open branches in some of the capital?s most
populous areas. Spinneys plans to open outlets in Zamalek, Mohandessein, and Sixth of October City.
The French chain Carrefour has revolutionized the retail industry in Egypt by introducing a new format for
hypermarket shopping. Carrefour opened six hypermarkets: four in Cairo and two in Alexandria. The first
Carrefour opened in December 2002, covering 28,000 sq. meters of retail space. Two of them opened in
2003, covering 32,000 sq. meters, one opened in 2008, and two opened in 2009. Carrefour is now
reporting an average of 17,000 visitors per day on weekdays and 40,000 visitors on the weekends; an
average of 7,500 transactions a day during week days and 13,000 daily on weekends. Their focus is on
middle-income families and they rely primarily on local goods.
Local Supermarkets and Hypermarkets
Metro, Egypt?s largest food retailer is currently operating 39 outlets in Cairo, Alexandria and Ismailia. Metro
plans to expand in other governorates, such as Hurgada and Mansoura. This adds to the rapidly growing retail
sector and services to consumers and strengthens Egypt?s retail distribution network. Metro carries a variety of
products including over 16,000 food items and 6,000 non-food items. The company applies a shop and drop
concept in their chains where they can deliver the goods to the customer?s door.
Alfa market was the biggest market in Cairo - with six outlets- before Carrefour, it has only two branches
now. Alfa carries about 70,000 items out of which 20,000 are food items. Alfa Market has a strategy of conducting
monthly discount promotions on various products in the range of 10-20%. Also, Alfa created several types of
customer loyalty cards, such as ?Family Cards,? offering 3-10% discounts.
Hyper One, a second local hypermarket, has opened in early 2005 on the outskirts of Sixth of October City
near Cairo. The project includes 10,000 square meter hypermarket, 20 shops, food court and a children?s
entertainment area. It opened its second branch in Al-Obour city, a suburb of Cairo.
With the expansion of local supermarkets, international supermarkets and hypermarkets, discounters have
recently upgraded their outlets and services to maintain their presence in the Egyptian market.
Ragab Sons, El-Mahmal and Abou Zekry are leading discounters which face fierce competition from
supermarket chains. However, Ragab Sons implemented a promotion strategy on various products with discounts
in the range of 10-20%. Also, the chain has extended its operating hours to 24-hour in some outlets.
FAS Cairo Upcoming Activities
FAS Cairo organizes Egyptian delegations to attend the Food Expos (FMI, Anuga, SIAL, and to Gulfood in
Dubai). The objective is to introduce Egyptian importers/distributors to U.S. exporters. With the expansion of the
number of supermarket chains and the introduction of hypermarkets in the Egyptian market, there is a good
opportunity to introduce new-to-market products.
FAS Cairo encourages U.S. SRTGs and Cooperators to participate in Egypt?s biggest annual food show called
?HACE? which takes place during November. Companies from the Southeastern United States (Florida and
Georgia under the umbrella of ?SUSTA?) participated in the November 2009 show and exhibited samples from
their products. It is expected that more companies will participate in HACE 2010. Post encourages and supports
other U.S. associations and companies to participate in this show as it grows in relevance and importance to
Importers either sell their products to wholesalers who distribute food products to retail outlets, or sell directly to retailers.
There are some supermarkets chains, namely Carrefour, Metro, Fathalla, and Oscar that import food products directly.
Carrefour buys some of its meat from a private processing plant which imports live animals and sells imported beef cuts at
their stores. There are over 30 food companies that import processed food from U.S. and deliver it to the different
supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Distribution channels for Food, alcoholic beverages and confectionery:
Food Hypermarkets and supermarkets
Large grocery stores
Medium and small grocery stores
Hotels and Restaurants
Alcoholic Beverages Hotels
Restaurants with a license for alcoholic beverages
Liquor shops (very limited)
Confectionery Hypermarkets and supermarkets
Large grocery stores
Medium and small grocery stores
Table 2: Hypermarkets Profiles (2008/09)
Retailer No. of Outlets Locations Purchasing
Name & Ownership (City) Agent Type
Carrefour French 6 4 in Cairo / 2 in Direct /
MAKRO Cash German 2 (expected to open in Cairo Direct
and Carry May and July 2010) /Importer
Spinneys International 2 City Stars- Direct
Cairo/and 6th of
Hyper one Local 2 (6th of October and Cairo Direct
one expected to open in
2010 in El-Obour/
Markato Local 1 Cairo Direct/
Ragab Sons Local 1 (expected to open in Al-Obour/ Cairo Direct/
end of 2010 or mid Importer
Table 3: Supermarkets profiles (2008/09)
Retailer Name & No. of Locations Purchasing Agent
Outlet Type Ownership Outlets (City) Type
Metro Local 39 Cairo, Alexandria, Direct / Distributor
Kheir Zaman Local 21 Cairo, Alexandria Direct/
Ragab Sons Local 15 Cairo Direct / Wholesaler
El-Mahmal Local 9 Cairo Direct/
Local 7 Alexandria Direct /
Importer / wholesaler
Abu Zekri Local 7 Cairo Direct
Zahran Local 5 Alexandria Direct
El Hawari Local 5 Cairo Wholesaler
Seoudi Local 5 Cairo Direct
Alfa Local 2 Cairo & Direct / Importer of
Alexandria household items
Local 2 Cairo Direct / Agent /
Table (4): Number of different types of food outlets
NO. OF OUTLETS
2007 2008 2009
Supermarkets 522 554 580
Hypermarkets 5 6 10
425 428 430
Cooperatives 225 210 205
Discounters 77 80 82
Independent Groceries 320 325 350
Demand and Supply Trends
Mid to upper income consumers are becoming more demanding and are increasingly perceiving traditional grocery
shops in Egypt as inadequate. Retailers have begun to become customer driven in their approach to staffing,
cleanliness, product range and service.
Sales of prepared foods are growing rapidly. The increasing number of working women has led to an increase in
their purchasing power and the demand for ready made meals.
Sales of frozen food products are increasing as ethnic frozen locally produced products become available.
Sales of dietetic or low calorie food items and specialty foods are still limited but growing.
Most importers tend to bring in a wide range of products, but only in small quantities. With a few exceptions,
wholesalers and retailers do not import directly.
B. CONVENIENCE STORES, GAS MARTS AND KIOSKS
Convenience stores, kiosks, and gas marts sell imported candy, snacks, juices and soft drinks. They do not import items,
but make their purchases from local importers, wholesalers and distributors. The most popular gas marts are Mobil Mart,
Esso, Caltex and Shell. Exxon Mobil, namely ?On The Run?, has introduced a new concept of convenience stores. They
currently operate about 25 stores and have plans to open 10-15 stores within the next couple of years. The gas station stores
called ?El-Emirate Misr? have 20 outlets. These stores range in size from 60-200 sq. meters. They are open 24 hours and
sell a variety of products including ready-made meals.
La Poire, a well-known patisserie and bakery chain, has conquered the convenience store sector through its chain La Poire
Express. The stores are mainly located in gas stations like Cooperation, and offer a wide range of food and beverages, such
as the chain?s famous pastries.
The average gas mart outlet is 30 to 50 square meters with a few exceptions (some Mobil Mart outlets have 100
Average sales differ according to the gas mart location; for example the medium outlet sales are $4,300/day.
Dealers are in complete control of the outlets.
Gas mart profit margins are about 25 percent of sales.
Convenience stores are not suitable for marketing activities or introducing new-to-market products.
C. ?MOM AND POP? SMALL INDEPENDENT GROCERY STORES
Small grocery stores offer a limited number of imported food products. It is perceived that the small grocery stores will
diminish with the expansion of large supermarket chains and hypermarkets. Small groceries still account for the largest
share of low-to-middle-income shoppers.
In 2008, according to UN Trade Data, total U.S. exports to Egypt for consumer oriented products were $230 million
compared to $146 million in 2007. This increase is attributed to the expansion of international chains, variety of products
offered and an increase in the level of income and brand advertising.
The U.S., EU (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Holland and Denmark), China and Thailand are the dominant
suppliers of consumer-ready products to Egypt.
The following table illustrates Egyptian imports: main products, main suppliers and U.S. market share:
Egypt?s total imports in 2008, and U.S. share
Total Value U.S. ($ U.S.
Item Countries ($000) 000) Share (%)
Live animals Romania 26,146 0 0
Meat and meat offals India, Brazil, U.S. 614,624 77,842 12.66
Fish and fish products Japan 269,884 4,398 1.63
New Zealand, U.S.,
Dairy products India 483,420 89,860 18.59
Products of animal origin Spain, U.K., China 41,327 389 0.94
Live trees and plants France 1,739 370 21.28
Edible vegetables, roots, &
tubers France, U.K., Canada 367,348 1,352 0.37
Fruits and nuts Lebanon, Syria, U.S. 128,772 16,045 12.46
Coffee, tea, and spices Kenya, India, Vietnam 349,852 575 0.16
Cereals U.S., Russia, Argentina 3,106,178 1,147,631 36.95
Products of milling industries Italy, Turkey, China 24,645 817 3.32
Oil seeds Canada 645,184 311,672 48.31
Lac, gums, resins India, France, Germany 18,201 459 2.52
Other vegetable products and Singapore, U.S.,
materials Malaysia 2,615 126 4.82
Animal or vegetables fats and Indonesia, Argentina,
oils Malaysia 1,495,564 79,922 5.34
Preparations of meat and fish Thailand, Brazil, U.S. 122,294 4,692 3.84
Sugar and sugar confectionery Brazil, India, U.S. 574,621 16,293 2.84
Cocoa and cocoa preparations Indonesia 37,475 330 0.88
Preparations of cereals, flour, Belgium, Netherlands,
starch, or milk Saudi Arabia 62,514 1,390 2.22
Preparations of vegetables, fruit,
nuts, or other plants Syria, UAE, China 41,393 3,099 7.49
Other edible food preparations Morocco 79,500 5,510 6.93
Beverages, spirits and vinegar EU, U.K., France 40,656 1,687 4.15
Residues and waste from the
food industries U.S., Argentina, Tunisia 226,755 90,288 39.82
Tobacco and manufactured EU, Switzerland, South
tobacco Africa 280,111 15,249 5.44
Wood and articles of wood Russia, Finland, 1,161,994 29,140 2.51
Cotton India, Syria, China 689,017 12,675 1.84
Total 10,891,829 1,911,811 17.55
Source: Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS)
Tariff rates for the most important products in 2009
Product Feb. 2009
Meat of bovine animals, sheep, goat Free
Beef liver 5%
Fish (most types), shrimp 5%
Dairy products 5-20%
Fresh or chilled vegetables 5-10%
Tomato paste 5%
Prepared or Preserved vegetables, fruits 20%
Dried fruits 10%
Citrus, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, fruit juices 20%
Cherries, strawberries, plums, peaches 5%
Coffee: not roasted Free
Coffee: roasted 10%
Tea, spices 2%
Vegetable oil: Put-up for retail sale 10%
Chewing gum 30%
Mineral water 30%
Wine, whiskies 1800-3000%
Source: Tariff book, Ministry of Finance
IV. BEST PRODUCTS PROSPECTS
A. Products in the market, which have good sales potential:
- Dressings and sauces
- Apples and pears
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Salted snacks and potato chips
- Mexican or ethnic food items
B. Products not present in significant quantities, but which have good sales potential:
- Microwave popcorn
- Baking mixes
- Pudding sauces
- Canned shrimps
C. Products not present in supermarkets because they face significant barriers:
- Wine (high tariff rate)
- Beer (high tariff rate)
- Poultry parts (banned)
V. POST CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION
U.S. Mailing Address
Office of Agricultural Affairs
Unit 64900, Box 22
APO AE 09839-4900
Tel: 011 (202) 2797-2388 / 2389
Fax:011 (202) 2796-3989
Web page: www.egypt.usembassy.gov
Other References: www.fas.usda.gov (GAIN reports)
- Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards- FAIRS
- Exporter Guide