In the last few years, Morocco’s food distribution system has seen significant changes with the expansion of a number of retail food outlets and the opening of new supermarket stores.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: MO1116
Hassan F. Ahmed, U.S. Embassy, Rabat
Idriss El Honsali, U.S. Embassy, Rabat
In the last few years, Morocco’s food distribution system has seen significant changes with the expansion of a
number of retail food outlets and the opening of new supermarket stores. In 2011, the French multinational
supermarket Carrefour entered into a franchise partnership with the Moroccan supermarket chain Label Vie to
create the new supermarket chain “Carrefour Markets.” Deep-discount food outlets have been gaining ground
with the continuing growth of the Turkish deep-discounter BIM and the opening of the first store of the British
group “Costcutter” in Marrakech in late 2011. Local importers, however, continue to play the main role in
introducing, distributing and promoting imported food products in Morocco.
SECTION I. MARKET SUMMARY
Morocco’s food distribution system continues to develop, as the Moroccan economy becomes increasingly open.
The arrival of western style food distribution outlets has changed the purchasing habits of a wide base of urban
consumers throughout the country. However, due to their proximity and convenience, traditional small grocery
stores still control about 80 percent of Moroccan retail food sector and will continue to play a major role in most
parts of large cities, and particularly in rural areas and small towns where more than 50 percent of the population
lives. The rapid growth of large retail food outlets in Morocco has caused the owners of these small food
retailers to voice their concern about the lack of Moroccan regulations to manage the expansion and
zoning issues of the large supermarkets.
The concentration of high-income population in Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech was behind the early advent
of large supermarkets in these cities. The axis Casablanca-Rabat counts for about 50 percent of the total number
of the modern supermarkets. Large supermarkets have opened in virtually all major Moroccan cities (including
Agadir, Tangiers, Fes, Meknes, Tetouan, and Mohamedia) and more are being opened in even middle size cities
(such as Beni Mellal, Khouribga and Oujda) and in lower income areas of major cities thus providing alternatives
to traditional buying habits of relatively low income groups.
With an estimated population of over 6 million people, Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, is the
largest city and the largest concentration of high-income consumers. Rabat, the capital city of Morocco, has
about 2.3 million people with a large number of government employees, foreign missions, and international
organizations that can be targeted with modern distribution chains. Marrakech is, by far, the leading destination
for tourists. It has been growing extraordinarily fast because many high-income Moroccans and Europeans
consider it as the choice destination for holidays and, more recently, for retirement.
Moroccan modern distribution chains were heavily targeted by European multinationals, mostly French. They
brought knowledge in supermarket management that Moroccan investors lacked. Most of the existing chains
have, or had, at least some European participation. Some are increasingly consolidating purchases (food and non-
food) in centralized purchasing departments in Europe while others are exporting their products to Morocco
under their private label which prevents them from benefiting from the preferences secured under the United
States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement that requires the products to be of U.S. origin.
Food importers based in Morocco, however, will continue to play the major role in distributing and promoting
imported products in Morocco in the medium term. They have their own sales agents and distribution fleet and
are in direct contact with large supermarkets, wholesalers, and in many cases with large grocery stores as well.
Some importers are involved in imports of a wide range of products with no particular loyalty to a specific
product, brand or origin. Others are working exclusively to develop markets for specific labels or even for their
own private label. As these importers tend to promote their products more heavily, they work more regularly
with the supermarket chains and may require more involvement from the exporter in terms of pushing the
product in the market.
Major Categories of Supermarkets
As far as imported food products are concerned, the Moroccan food distribution sector can be divided into three
Large modern retail and wholesale supermarket chains.
Small supermarkets, convenience supermarkets, large self-service grocery stores and deep-discounters.
Mom & Pop stores.
Imported high value food products typically do not reach the open-air markets that exist mostly in rural areas
where the lower income segment of the population lives
Trends in Distribution Channels
Marketing experts and food distributors estimate that the modern food distribution channels accounts for nearly
20 percent of total retail food sales in Morocco. According to a study by the Nielsen marketing company, the
large-scale distribution outlets control about 13 percent of the food retail sales in Morocco. Although small
“mom & pop” shops will continue to play a major role in the food distribution in the medium term, the number of
supermarkets is likely to continue to grow in the cities because of:
A growing base of western-minded consumers, especially in urban areas.
The aggressive promotions, appealing prices and discounts on a wide range of products enticing lower-
A growing middle-class where both parents are working and less time is available for shopping for food
so that food purchases tend to be more grouped.
The increasing acceptance by the Moroccan consumer of processed and packaged products. Many
products traditionally sold in bulk are now readily available in various packages.
The increasing perception among the Moroccan consumers that food sold in the modern supermarkets
chains are safer and that imported products offer a wider range of products generally of higher quality.
In 2011, Morocco’s food distribution network witnessed significant changes with the expansion of a number of
retail food outlets and opening of new ones. These included the partnership franchise arrangement between the
French multinational Carrefour with the Moroccan supermarket chain Label Vie to create the new chain
“Carrefour Markets.” This was in addition to two hypermarkets and eight supermarket stores (previously
belonging to the German Cash and Carry Metro) that Carrefour acquired last year. Through its partnership with
Carrefour, Label Vie will have the exclusive right to distribute the Carrefour brand-name products throughout the
Moroccan market for 15 years.
The deep-discount food outlets have been recently gaining ground in Morocco, with the number of the Turkish
deep-discounter BIM stores reaching 75 outlets, and the opening of the first British discounter Costcutter in late
2011. The Carrefour /Label Vie group also intends to get into the deep-discount market segment with “Carrefour
Maxi” stores, while the Indian group Lulu announced its intention to enter the Moroccan market next year. These
developments should help strengthen the presence of foreign food retailers in Morocco, especially after the
withdrawal of Auchan and Géant hypermarkets and Franprix supermarkets from the country several years ago.
Trends in Services Offered by Retailers
Large supermarkets in Morocco tend to be located in small malls that include a large number of European and
U.S. franchises for fast food, textiles, shoes, quick car repairs, banks, and car services. The number of adjacent
shops varies from 10 to 25 and is meant primarily to attract a large number of visitors. Large supermarkets that
started a couple of years ago to allocate some space for ready-to-eat food, which is becoming a familiar trend in
Moroccan supermarkets and reflects the increasing habit of eating outside for a certain segment of the Moroccan
consumers. In many cities, the lack of adequate entertainment and amusement sites draws many Moroccan
families to visit supermarkets to roam around where they often end-up buying or at least are exposed to new
In an effort to attract the lower income segment of the population, large supermarket chains developed their own
generic brand that supposedly is the most economic to the consumer. The generic brands are being used for food
and non-food products and some imported products are also being offered under the label “Most Economic”.
In spite of the remarkable increase in use of Internet by the Moroccan communities, Internet sales of food
products are almost non-existent in Morocco. Currently, there are virtually no offers made on a regular basis by
food companies and payment procedures via Internet are not yet developed. Today, there are an estimated 10
million internet users in Morocco, with almost 3 million subscribers with internet providers and the rest have
access to internet through Cyber Cafés.
Table 1: Number and Type of Retail Outlets in Morocco
Type of Store Estimated Identified Supermarket Locations
Large Supermarkets (Including 48 Casablanca-8, Rabat 4,
Independent) Sale-2, Marrakech 6, Agadir-4, Fes-3, Tanger-4, Meknes 1,
12-32 registers, over 500 parking spots, Mohamedia 2, Kenitra-2, Tetouan-1, Temara 1, Safi 1,
Over 40,000 ft2 Oujda-3, Saidia-1,
Essaouira 1, Nador 1, Khouribga 1, Beni Mellal 1, Kelaat Es-
Small Supermarket & Convenience
1. Small Supermarket & Convenience Casablanca-18, Rabat-7, Marrakech 5 Agadir-4, etc.
Stores (> 3 registers, >12,000 ft2 ) 70
2. Small Self-Service Grocery Stores (2 Casablanca-70, Marrakech-15, Rabat-10, Agadir-7, Meknes-
registers, > 1000 ft2) 6, etc.
Hanouty small Convenience Stores 150 Concentrated in Casablanca and Rabat. Mostly franchisee’
Chain / franchise (1 register, 220-1300 privately owned shops
Mom & Pop Stores 550 Estimated 15,000 in Casablanca
1. 1000 ft2 5,000 Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir, and Rabat.
2. 226 – 1000 ft2
3. Less than 226 285,000 ft2
4. Sma ll convenience
Source: Importers, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Agricultural Affaires Office, Rabat
The total number of small supermarkets and small stores has to be taken with care as reliable statistics are not available.
Table 2: Advantages and Challenges of the Moroccan Market
33 million Moroccans, 10-15 percent of which can afford to buy 45 percent in rural areas. Limited purchasing power
imported products. in small cities and rural areas
Morocco and the U.S. signed a free trade agreement that provides Currently, high duties on imported products.
preferential access to many U.S. food products, especially on the
medium and long term.
Western-minded youth. Developing middle class. More women Promotional activities very difficult in traditional
working outside the home. outlets
Most importers are in Casablanca Relatively small volume involved even in large
There are very progressive and marketing oriented importers Modern independent supermarkets require an entry
fee for each new product.
Fast growth of modern distribution channels. Proximity of Europe to Morocco:
More supermarkets are expected to open in the near future. -Imports of small quantities are economically
- EU is a traditional supplier.
- EU suppliers are more aggressive.
Growing perception that supermarkets offer safer and cheaper Multinational chains procure some food products
products. Increased acceptance of packaged products. through their home office and in many cases under a
SECTION II: ROAD MAP FOR MARKET ENTRY
A1. Large Retail and Wholesale Supermarkets
Leading supermarket retailers in Morocco, Marjane, Carrefour and Aswak Assalam, continued to expand in 2011.
The market shares of these supermarket chains in 2011 were estimated at 65, 28 and 8 percent, respectively. This
group has stores of a minimum of 40,000 ft2 (up to 75,000 ft2), having between 12 and 34 registers, and over
250 employees. The supermarket space usually encompasses several private shops including pharmacists, fast-
food chains, amusement centers, and in most cases gas stations. These stores have large parking lots that can fit
up to 1,000 cars. Typically, these supermarkets are not in walking distance, which is likely to restrain the
consumer base to medium-high class consumers. These supermarkets offer both food and non-food items. The
number of different food items is often over 12,000 and is believed to generally account for 40-50 percent of the
The best way to introduce new products to these supermarkets is to go through local importers because:
Many have long experience and direct relations with supermarkets. Thus, they are in much better position
to negotiate space and promotional events.
They have their own distribution fleet and are able to deliver in relatively small volumes.
They carry out promotional activities regularly in these stores.
They supply smaller supermarkets as well.
Supermarkets might only work with well-established importers or in some case do import directly
Scheme 1: Modern distribution channel for Large Retailers
Local importers will still supply a large share of imported food products to the large supermarket chains in
Morocco. Purchases (from local producers and from importers) by these large supermarkets chains are typically
handled by their headquarters in Casablanca. Since Marjane Chain and ACIMA convenience stores belong to the
same company Marjane Holding which is owned by the-SNI- and carry many products in common, food
procurement (except produce and meat) is handled by the central office in Casablanca.
Supermarkets in this category are aggressive in promoting their products. They publish monthly brochures and
occasional flyers where the importers promote their products. Also, these supermarkets, especially Marjane,
advertise regularly on the radio for available sales and discounts to attract customers. The Marjane chain has
been very aggressive in promotion over the past few years, as they have been organizing heavy radio advertising
campaigns that claim cheaper prices, quality products and services after sale for the nonfood products. They have
also been promoting the winner “FAIZ” card that provides interest-free delayed payments to consumers.
In 2010, there were some important developments in the Moroccan supermarket landscape that included the entry
of the French multinational supermarket Carrefour into a partnership with the Moroccan supermarket chain
Label’ Vie Company. In addition, Label’ Vie acquired the Moroccan subsidiary of the German “Metro Cash and
Carry” chain, under a new company HLV that was jointly established between Label’ Vie and Carrefour. All
Metro Cash and Carry stores will be converted into Carrefour supermarkets under the Carrefour Cash and Carry
brand name. These changes should help strengthen the presence of foreign food retail companies in Morocco,
especially after the withdrawal of Auchan and Géant hypermarkets andFranprix supermarkets from the Moroccan
market four years ago.
Table 3: Large Retailers in Morocco
Re Locations and Number of Purchasing Agent tailer Name Ownership Turnover of
($Mil.) outle stores ts
Marjane 100 % $1,000 26 Casablanca-5, Rabat-2, Sale-1, Buys from limited
Moroccan since Marrakech-2, Meknes-1, Agadir- number of local
August 2007 1, Tanger-2, Fes-2, Mohamedia- importers / distributors.
(Marjane 1, Safi-1, Kenitra-1 Tetouan-1, (Same buying platform
Holding) Oujda-1. Saidia-1, Nador-1, as for small convenience
Khouribga-1,Beni mellal-1, stores chain, ACIMA).
Carrefour Cash Managed by $300-350 8 Casablanca-2, Rabat-1, Buys from local
and Carry HLV SAS of Fes-1, importers and/or
(formerly METRO which 95% Agadir-1 imports directly under
wholesale Cash Moroccan Marrakech-1, own private labels.
and Carry) (Label Vie SA) Oujda-1, Tanger 1
and 5% belongs
Carrefour Managed by $60-90 2 Marrakech-1, Buys from local
hypermarchés HLV SAS of Sale 1. importers and/or
which 95% imports directly under
Moroccan own private labels.
(Label Vie SA)
and 5% belongs
Aswak Assalam 100% $150-200 12 Rabat-1, Mohammedia-1 Buys from local
(No Moroccan. Marrakech-2, Kenitra-1, Temara- importers / distributors. alcoholic
b Aswak Assalam 1, Agadir-2, Tanger-1, Oujda-1, Plans to open 2 new everages or
p Casablanca-1, Essaouira 1 supermarkets each year ork sold)
Source: Agricultural Affairs Office, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
The supermarket stores Marjane first opened in Morocco in the early 1990's and were launched by Morocco’s
largest consortium of private companies, Société National d’Investissement (SNI). These supermarkets are very
modern and are comparable to ones in the U.S. They are usually located in relatively remote areas and thus are
visited by higher-income consumers who are also the major buyers of imported food products. Marjane employs
about 5,600 people and serves over 35 million customers at its 26 stores each year. Competing on the same
segment with Marjane chain is Aswak Assalam supermarket chain. These are smaller supermarkets but
comparable to Marjane stores in their concept as they also carry food and non-food and are considerably larger
than other supermarkets in Morocco. Aswak Assalam does not carry alcoholic beverages or pork products in
order to be perceived by the public as more tradition-preserving genuine Moroccan supermarkets.
A2. Small Retail Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, Large Grocery Stores
Typically, supermarkets in this category don’t get involved in direct imports because of the small volume
involved. The supermarkets belonging to the largest chains ACIMA and Carrefour Market (Ex Label Vie) buy
through their purchasing boards. Thus, importers will still play a major role to introduce new products to these
convenience outlets because:
Many have long experience in this market and have agents that work on a regular basis with these
supermarkets and are in a better position to negotiate space and promotional events.
They have their own distribution fleet that can deliver relatively small volumes.
They carry out promotional activities regularly in these stores.
These supermarkets work often with a relatively small number of suppliers that carry known brands that
Scheme 2: Modern distribution channel for Small Retailers
U.S. exporters will find it very difficult to sell directly to these supermarkets because of the small volume
involved. Supermarkets, or their buying board for the existing chains, buy imported goods directly from
importers. For the convenience store chain ACIMA, food purchases are combined with those of Marjane (see
large supermarket chains section). On the other hand, some importers devote full time sale agent(s) to deal with
specific supermarkets. Eventually, the importer’s trucks and utility cars deliver the imported goods to the
In addition, the small self-service stores may also purchase from local wholesalers if the quantities involved are
very small. Both importers and wholesalers provide financing to supermarkets. Typically the importer’s agents
deliver the imported products to the supermarkets in small vans (panel trucks) or trucks.
Table 4: Small Retailers in Morocco
Re Estimated Estimated tailer ing
Turnover Number Loca Purchastions
Name Ownership Agent type
($Millions ) Outlets
Small Supermarket 100 % local since $250-300 32 Casablanca-12, Rabat-3, Buying Board. Buys
Chain (ACIMA) August 2007. Marrakech-2, Fes-1, from Importers.
(6 registers, Same Owner as Safi, 1, Khouribga-1, Also through
typically > 20000 Marjane Beni Mellal-1, El Jadida- combined imports
ft2) Supermarkets 1, Temara-1, Berrechid- with Marjane Chain
Small Supermarket 95 % Locally $250-300 35 Casablanca-13, Rabat-7, Buying Board. Buys
Chain (Carrefour owned by Label
Marrakech-1, Fes-1, from Importers.
arkets) Vie SA and 5% Mekness-2, Khemissat- Import
(> 3 registers, owned by 1, Agadir-1, El Jadida-1, Also through
>25000 Carrefour Settat 1 Mohamedia 2. combined imports ft2)
Kenitra 2, Temara 1, with Carrefour
Safi 1 Sale-1.
Small Supermarket Local – private $50-100 25 Casablanca 15, Rabat-7, Buys from
(> 3 registers, Agadir-3 Importers, and
>25000 ft2 ) wholesalers
Large grocery Local -private $100-150 200 Casablanca 75, Buys from
stores (Self-service, Marrakech-15, Rabat- Importers and
> 1 register, < 15, Agadir 10, etc. Wholesalers
2000 ft 2 )
Hanouty Small 95 percent of $5-6 150 Concentrated in Through a
Convenience Stores shops are Casablanca and Rabat. centralized purchase
Chain –Franchisee Franchisee. Plans to cover other platform (4PML)
(1 register, 220- Franchiser is a regions as well.
1300 ft2 ) First Moroccan
shops in 2006 company
BIM Hard discount A Turkish $15-20 75 Casablanca, Rabat, sale Through its first
franchise Franchisee. and plans to cover other centralized
First shops in 2009 (Groupe Birlesik regions. purchasing
Magazal A.S) platform; project a
Source: Importers, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Agricultural Affairs Office, Rabat.
The first 2 groups (small supermarkets) are much smaller than Marjane but have a minimum of 20,000 ft2 and 3
to 6 registers. These stores offer a wide variety of products including non-food items. The largest stores in this
category sale also house appliances. Typically these supermarkets include butcher shops, sell frozen products and
alcoholic beverages, and have relatively limited parking space. They are located in, or within walking distance to,
medium to high-income neighborhoods. These supermarkets are appropriate outlets for imported products since
they are frequented by medium-high income consumers and could be used to carry out in store promotion
ACIMA convenience supermarket chain opened 32 supermarkets over the past nine years. Thanks to the strong
financial capability of the owning companies, it is expected to open 5 new supermarkets every year. In fact,
ACIMA and the largest supermarket chain in Morocco Marjane belong to the largest consortium in Morocco
Société National d’Investissement (SNI). These large convenience stores are meant to attract urban consumers
from the traditional mom & pop shops and open-air market where they would typically go. ACIMA as a
convenience store offers a much larger percentage of food products including fresh fruits and vegetables. It is
estimated that ACIMA supermarkets carry over 5,000 items.
The Carrefour Market (Ex- Label Vie) carries some 4000-5000 food items (40 % of the total number of products
carried). Currently, they continue to buy mostly through importers but do get involved directly in imports of the
private label (Leader Price) products and of some specialty products (some alcoholic beverages).
The deep-discount food outlets have been gaining ground recently in Morocco, with the Turkish deep-discounter
BIM continuing to grow reaching 75 outlets, and the arrival of new-comers such as the British group Costcutter
and the Indian group Lulu. Costcutter opened its first stores in Marrakech in late 2011 and intends to open 15
additional stores by 2015. The Label Vie group also intends to get into the deep-discount market segment
through its Carrefour Maxi stores. Lulu Group is currently in the process of implementing its entrance strategy.
The small convenience store chain called HANOUTY (my shop) that was launched in 2006 is still in business
but facing some financial and organizational difficulties. Under the Hanouty concept, the franchiser provides
credit for working capital, a uniform design and management for all Hanouty shops. The franchisees provide the
location, are in charge of management, and must fulfill preset specifications and rules of conduct. The franchiser
set up a new buying platform in charge of contracting local suppliers and importers and dispatching the products.
While this platform does not get involved in imports, it is the decision maker as to what products are being
offered for sale in Hanouty shops. Hanouty franchiser also provides in store promotion (LCD screens, banners,
etc.). Hanouty chains also aims to replicate “credit to neighborhood customers” as it has been historically and
commonly provided by most small stores in Morocco. Hanouty stores plan to make available to neighborhood
customers a Hanouty credit card. The success of this financing to final customers will greatly depend on the
flexibility and cost of the credit. Today Hanouty chain comprises some 150 shops located mostly in the
Casablanca and Rabat area, but many of them are trying to adjust to new market dynamics and stiff competition.
This category includes mostly gas-marts of 500 to 3,300 ft2 with one electronic register and carrying mostly
The first store of this category opened in early 1990's. More and more gas distributors are including this service
in their best-located (near exit of the major cities) gas stations. This segment is likely to continue to develop in
the future. These stores are usually more expensive and carry a large number of imported convenience items,
especially snack food, non-alcoholic drinks, and confectionary.
Table 5: Gaz Mart Retailer’s chain in Morocco
Retaile number r Name Estimated o ion Purchasing Agent f Ou Locattlets
Afriquia Mini-Brahim 20 Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, Buys from Importers And
(Managed by Maroshop) Meknes, Settat, and highways. distributors.
Mobile Gas Stations On the 14 Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, Buys from Importers and
Run / Mobile Mart highway distributors.
Shell Gas Stations 19 Casablanca and highways Buys from Importers and
(Select Shop) distributors.
Source: Agricultural Affairs Office
No official data is available from the Moroccan Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
C. Traditional Markets - "Mom & Pop" Small Independent Grocery Stores
To reach these small mom & pop stores, imported products will have to go through importers and very likely
wholesalers. The quantities involved are too small and imported food products are sold only in larger shops or in
shops that are located in medium to high-income neighborhoods.
Scheme 3: Traditional distribution channel
Traditional Food Distribution Channels
(for imported products)
Grocery Stores, Mom & Pop Stores
Local Importers / Distributors / Importing Wholesalers
Grocery Stores / Mom & Pop Stores
Source: Agricultural Attaché Office, Rabat
This category includes an estimated 45,000 grocery stores that are not in the above categories. Their size varies
from less than 226 ft2 (estimated 40,000 stores) to 1,000 ft2 (500 stores). These shops have limited financial
resources and are typically managed by one person. The consumer cannot help himself in this store because the
goods are behind a counter. Therefore, the shop owner plays a major role in introducing new brands to the
These shops are literally packed with a wide range of convenience and relatively low price food and non-food
items. Depending on the location and size, some of these stores may have some imported products. Many of
these stores in the cities have a refrigerator and a very small number have ice cream freezers. Convenience,
proximity and credit to the final consumer are their strongest assets.
SECTION III. COMPETITION
Morocco has signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States that entered into force in January 2006.
The agreement provides U.S. exporters with new opportunities of exporting high value and consumer-oriented
products in the medium and long term. With an average duty on consumer-oriented products of about 50 percent
and the phase out of duties under the FTA is scheduled over 10 years, the cuts in duties and U.S. competitiveness
should become more significant as time passes.
In previous years, Moroccan imports of high value products from the U.S. have grown due to a weaker dollar
compared to the Euro and more competitive U.S. prices. The most significant increase came from dairy products
(over 300 percent between 2009 and 2010) used as ingredients by the food industry (butter, skim milk powder,
dairy ingredients, whey, and cheeses) or to be resized and repackaged locally for retail sale (butter). Also, thanks
to the FTA, the newly introduced U.S. apples contributed significantly to increase of U.S. share of high value
products in this market.
However, Moroccan imports of U.S. consumer-oriented products directly from the United States are rather
marginal as noticed when visiting Moroccan supermarkets or retail shops. The main reason for this small share is
the geographical distance and the absence of a regular direct shipping line between Morocco and the U.S. In
practice, the long shipping time (up to 45 days because transit by Europe is necessary) exclude all short-life
products from being exported to Morocco. This situation, however, may improve in the coming years with the
opening in 2009 of a direct shipping line between the Moroccan port of Tanger-Med and the port of Norfolk, VA
in the U.S. East Coast.
Moroccan consumers (and importers) are more familiar with European (French and Spanish) products and
lifestyle. Middle and high income classes in Morocco would tend to watch more regularly French and Spanish
TV channels in the Northern part of the country. European exporters regularly visit Morocco and offer their
products to importers and distributors. Most of the key Moroccan importers also regularly visit food trade shows
such as SIAL (Paris), ANUGA (Germany), ALIMENTARIA (Spain) and Dubai Food Shows where they meet
with European and Asian producers and exporters.
Locally produced goods continue to account for the largest share of food products sold in local retail outlets.
Imported consumer-oriented food products, because of their generally high price (high duties), are mostly sold in
supermarkets and grocery stores located in higher income neighborhoods. It is estimated that only about 10-15
percent of the population repeatedly buy imported products. The local industry produces a relatively limited
number of products that in many cases can hardly keep up with the high quality and diversity of imported
products put on the supermarket shelves every day.
Table 6: 2010 Morocco Imports by product category
Product Major Supply Strengths of Key Supply Countries Advantages and
Category Sources Disadvantages of Local
Dairy $243 1. U.S. 29% Price competitive. Importers more exposed to Very seasonal production.
million 2. EU 27% other suppliers. Some major suppliers have their Morocco is a net importer of
3. New Zealand representative/agent in Morocco. U.S. products butter and skimmed milk powder
19% developed good quality reputation. The weak for production of milk derivatives
mi 4. Uruguay 3% dollar and U.S. competitive prices boosted imports (yoghurts). llion
M 5. Australia 2.8% from the U.S. in 2011 to more than $50 million Virtually no cheese production ilk Powder
$86 6.Others 19.2% (except for spread cheese) in million
Ch spite of the high local demand. eese $55
- Whey & other
Processed The juice suppliers Price competitiveness. Egypt has a Free Trade With the exception of citrus
Fruit $22.7 Egypt 18% Agreement with Morocco). juice, there is no significant
France 16% production of other juices.
O Spain 14% Extensive smuggling activity range Juice
$8 Other EU 1% trough the two Spanish enclaves .75
L Argentina 12% in the North of Morocco. emon Juice
$1 Brazil 9% .4
P China 4% ears Juice $
1 Others 26% .01
Apple juice $
Meat & Carcasses From Price competitive. (Argentina). Currently Beef Virtually undeveloped meat
Poultry : Argentina / carcasses are imported only for the Military. Lack processing industry in Morocco.
$24.1 Australia Ground of knowledge of US meat supply.
Beef mostly from
B Argentina / Spain eef Carcass(
M and France. ilitary) $15.1
(45-150g) $5.8 Argentina 39%
MDM $2.4 France 25%
Pork Meat Australia 19%
$0.3 Uruguay 9%
Other meat Brazil 4%
$0.5 Others 4%
Product Category Major Supply Sources Strengths of Key Supply Advantages and Disadvantages of
Total Imports Countries Local Suppliers
from all origins
Beverages $58 EU Share: 91% Well established brands. Some local production (mostly wine
US Share: 1% Competitors are represented/ and beer).
W Others 8% have agents in Morocco. Morocco population is 99% Muslims. hisky $14.23
W Consumption is tolerated. ine $12.9
Vodka $8.99 Most hard liquors come in
Soft Drinks, duty free under the US-
Carbonated $10.66 Morocco FTA.
Dried Fruits and U.S. Share: $7.8 million Cashew and Pistachios are Extensive smuggling activity trough
Nuts $ 12.18 Stiff competition from India, duty free under the Morocco- the two Spanish enclaves in the North
Turkey, China, Iran.
US FTA. of Morocco.
Dried Raisins $2.99
Walnuts $ 2.1
Pistachios $ 1.8
Dried Apricots $0.8
Other Dried Fruits $0.5
Major European brands are Most of the consumption is canned
getables $43 represented locally by local mushroom, sweet corn, asparagus,
importers. Price palm, and pulses. Except for the
competitiveness for canned traditional canned peas, and tomato
Processed Tomatoes $
20 corn from Thailand. paste, other products are basically not .6
P produced by local manufacturers reserved Vegetables
Onion & Similar,
Canned Corn $3.7
Seafood $107.8 Netherland: 43% Most seafood can come into Moroccans are mostly used to
Other EU: 25% Morocco duty free under the purchasing fresh fish (not frozen).
C Argentina: 10% FTA. Great potential for US Traditional distribution channels not rustaceans : $69,1 China: 9% products. suited for frozen fish.
Fish, Cured, Smoked:
$ Others 13% Moroccan consumer is familiar with 12.2
F few fish species. ish Fillets, Meat: $8.3
Fish, Frozen, Whole:
Fish, Whole Fr/Ch:
Live Fish: $0.5
Fresh Fruit $99.6 EU has a duty free Quota for US has a tariff rate quota No significant production for Red
apples. Competition from under the FTA open from Delicious. No regular quality.
:Tunisia (Dates); Ghana, February to May Exports
- Dates $77.5
Costa Rica,(Banana); Italy, consists mostly of Red
- Banana $12.2
Spain & France (Apples) Delicious Apples. Expected to
- Apples $9.4
- grow. Fresh Raisins $0.5
Source: Agricultural Affairs Office, Moroccan Customs Data (Office des Changes 2009)
Exchange Rate ($/dh) 2010:8.45
SECTION IV. BEST PRODUCT PROSPECTS
Products present in the market that have good sales potential:
Canned Fruit and Vegetables
Health and diet products (not organic)
Dried Fruits and Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Dried Prunes and Raisins, walnuts)
Non Salted Butter / dairy products
Breakfast Cereals / Biscuits, crackers / Flour Mixes
Pulses (lentils / Chickpeas / Green beans/ white beans)
Sauces including hot, Asian, BBQ, Salad dressings
Snack Foods, including diet snacks
A. Products Not Present in Significant quantities but which have good sales potential:
Pistachios / Pecan Seeds Preferential Access under FTA
Garlic Preferential Access under FTA
Mushrooms Preferential Access under FTA
Soy Sauce Preferential Access under FTA
Spaghetti Preferential Access under FTA
Poultry Meat Tariff Rate Quota under FTA
Seafood Preferential Access under FTA
B. Products Not Present because they Face Significant Barriers
Meat Customs duties
Cheese Customs duties
Rice Customs duties
SECTION V. POST CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Hassan F. Ahmed, Agricultural Attaché Email: Hassan.Ahmed@usda.gov
Idriss EL Honsali, Agricultural Specialist, email: Idriss.firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (212-53) 776-2265 (Ext. 2022) Fax: (212-53) 776-5493
Reports that might be useful to U.S. exports of consumer-oriented food products to Morocco (can be found at
Report Number Date Issued
Exporter’s Guide MO1115 December 2011
FAIRS, Export Certificates MO1112 October 2011
Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards-Narrative MO1111 October 2011
HRI, Food Service Sector MO9001 February 2009