There are extremely good opportunities for British food and drink companies in Spain.
Friday, 08 Feb 2013
Food and Drink sector in Spain
Spain is the 13th-largest economy in the world, the fifth-largest in the European Union, and
the fourth-largest in the Eurozone. It also remains the UK’s 8th largest export market, and
food and drink exports to Spain account for nearly 9% of total UK-Spain exports.
Spain receives every year approx 16 million British tourists and there are approximately 1 m
expatriates living all year round in Spain usually all along the Mediterranean coast and the
Islands. The UK is also the preferred destination for Spaniards (approx 2 million) mainly to
study, business and for holidays (therefore are well aware of British food and drink products).
This fact provides extremely good opportunities for food and drink companies in Spain.
In terms of food and drink we divide Spain in 2 markets – the local and the tourist market.
Usually all well known brands in the UK sell well in Spain. Spain has very important and
large wine, fruit and vegetables & biscuits manufacturers. (see market opportunities below)
On exports British cereals are one of the main categories from the UK into Spain. This is due
to two reasons: the large biscuit, bakery and pasta industry in Spain and the timing of the
harvests, in UK and in Spain, are in different seasons. The wine & cava and the fruit and
vegetables industries also offered opportunities for non food companies.
Labelling is compulsory in Spanish, including sell by date and country of origin as well as all
the ingredients and instructions (a local distributor will be able to help with this)
ξ Usually well known brands in the UK sell well in Spain.
ξ Gourmet / speciality products.
ξ Ambient, fresh & frozen categories.
ξ Ethnic products – mainly for the tourist market if there are ready made meals.
ξ Ethnic snacks and sauces – local and tourist market
ξ Biscuits, chocolates (with good quality and attractive packaging) – both local & tourist
ξ Christmas, Easter, and seasonal products - local and tourist market
Latest export opportunities – Food & Drink
Latest export opportunities - Spain
Getting into the market
Spain is 2 and ½ times the size of the UK therefore we recommend, to UK food and drink
companies, to enter the Spanish market through an experienced distributor. The distributor in
Spain holds stock and usually has agents working for them (who work on a commission
basis). Some of the large distributors cover the whole of Spain including the islands (except
the Canary Islands which are usually treated as a separate market due to its different VAT and
tax system than the rest of Spain).
More about doing business in Spain