Jordan - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-25

Market Overview

Jordan is a net food-importing country, and a growing market of around 10.8 million consumers, including refugees. Jordan’s population has nearly doubled in the past decade.  As a result, Jordan imports up to 98 percent of consumable items from abroad, including rice, frozen chicken cuts, nuts, fresh apples, cheese, beef, and food preparations. Due to the scarcity of water, agriculture has been declining as a component of the overall economy for years. Although it consumes 65-75 percent of Jordan’s water resources, agriculture accounts for 4 percent of the country’s GDP. The agricultural sector employs 2-3 percent of the labor force, though many

agricultural workers hail from Egypt and Syria.  The horticultural product sector, poultry industry, and small-scale herding are major components of the agriculture sector.

Consumers demand a wider variety of foreign food and agricultural products that are packaged and clearly labeled. In 2019, Jordan imported $2.7 billion in consumer-oriented products, with the retail food sector valued at about $4.5 billion and expected to grow by 3-5 percent over the next five years.  For the list of export certifications required by Jordan for imports and the products they cover, please refer to a related article on Jordan’s “Restrictions and Prohibited Imports.” More details can also be found in USDA FAS attaché reports at:  https://www.fas.usda.gov/.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • High Demand for U.S. Food Products in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Cafe Sector HORECA: The Jordanian retail food sector is estimated to be $4.5 billion. Higher income consumers drive much of the demand for imported products, while middle- and lower-income consumers substitute imports with domestic alternatives. As incomes recover and purchasing power increases, the market is expected to grow. Sources anticipate growth of 5-10 percent in the coming five years. Traditional outlets dominate the Jordanian market, representing 85 percent of total outlets and around 90 percent of total sales. Despite this, modern outlets are growing in number and volume of sales. Online retail platforms are also becoming increasingly popular as Internet penetration increases.
     
  • Processed Food Ingredients: The food processing industry is growing and drives demand for ingredient inputs, which is expected to double in the next five years. 

Market Structure: Jordan’s market structure is straightforward.  Importers are food processors, manufacturers, and or agents/distributors, as well as generalists who import a wide range of food products.  Larger companies source food ingredients and products directly to lower prices, guarantee product flow, and ensure quality.  Agents/distributors service the food processing and manufacturing sectors.  It is important for U.S. exporters to work with someone locally who knows the market well for a specific product.

CHART 1:  JORDAN, Food Ingredients Import Distribution Channel

JORDAN, Food Ingredients Import Distribution Channel
CHART: JORDAN, Food Ingredients Import Distribution Channel

 

Opportunities

Jordan’s consumer behavior is gradually becoming more westernized.  There is increasing demand in Jordan for the following goods: corn, rice, food ingredients, fresh and frozen sea products, U.S. origin cheese, fancy beef products, low priced chicken leg quarters, nuts and cereals. Although the candies market is growing, exporters should be aware that Genetically Engineered (GE) products require prior registration and must meet labeling requirements.

For more insights on doing business in food and agricultural products, kindly visit USDA FAS attaché reports on Jordan https://www.fas.usda.gov/data

For additional information, please contact U.S Commercial Service - Jordan at office.amman@trade.gov