Market Intelligence
Food and Beverage West Bank and Gaza

West Bank and Gaza: Food Sector

The population of the West Bank and Gaza is young with 5.4 million residents and an annual growth rate of 2.4%. With a growing population, the demand for food products is expected to increase. The average size of a household consists of five individuals and Palestinians spend around 38% of their disposable income on food. Many consumers are westernized, well educated, seek American brands, and have traditionally been willing to pay for good quality and internationally recognized names. Therefore, the potential for U.S. food and beverage exports to the West Bank and Gaza is promising.

The Palestinian food sector is one of the most rapidly developing sectors in the West Bank and Gaza as it accounts for 20% of total local production, has a total market size of $600 million, and a labor force of around 15,000 workers. The strength of the sector’s basic products and the recent development in production quality to meet international standards and requirements are enhancing the sector in the local market and increasing the export capability of local producers. Leading local subsectors include dairy products, beverages, meat processing, bakeries, and olive oil production.  Good opportunites exist for U.S. exporters of food processing equipment, packaging equipment, refrigeration, and agricultural machinery.       

The Palestinian Food Industries Union (PFIU), a membership-based organization, assists local producers in improving and promoting locally manufactured products, providing management and marketing training, and assisting them in expanding exports to regional and international markets. Some of the union’s members are also importers of food and beverage products and raw materials for production. The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in the West Bank is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing agricultural laws, policies, and regulations. PFIU works as lobbying body by representing its members’ interest with the Palestinian government to ensure that new laws and regulations have a positive impact on local companies and Palestinian laborers. 

In 2021, total food imports reached $2 billion. Most of the food products were imported from Israel, Turkey, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Imports from the United States were very marginal since they only amounted to $18.6 million - less than 1% of total food imports. Israel was the main supplier of natural and mineral water, chocolates, fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, and meat. Turkey was the principal supplier of bakery products and vegetable oils.    

U.S. food and beverage producers and exporters seeking to enter the Palestinian market must use direct agents and distributors. Palestinian importers carry limited inventory sufficient to satisfy immediate demand and maintain distribution channels. Good opportunities exist for U.S. exporters of condiments, sauces, seasoning, baking and cake mixes, juices and energy drinks, frozen vegetables, rice, nuts, and confectioneries. 

Next Steps:  U.S. companies interested in exploring matchmaking, market research, the business environment and food and beverage export opportunities to the West Bank and Gaza should contact Assad Barsoum, Senior Commercial Specialist at: and the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Embassy in Israel at: