The export market for frozen snacks has opened up in the past couple of years thanks to the Bangladeshis staying abroad who crave the taste of native snacks.
In the past three years, export earnings from frozen snacks, such as paratha, singara, samocha, dal puri, and alu puri, have grown more than seven times to $2.38 million in fiscal 2009-10, compared to fiscal 2007-08, according to Bangladesh Agro Processors' Association (BAPA).
Exporters linked the rise to growing demand among Bangalees and the entry of some new firms in Europe, the US, Australia and the Middle East. The entry of some new firms like Sabjiana Ltd and IBCO Food Industries Ltd, also buoyed exports earnings from snacks.
“The demand for frozen snacks is very high as people staying aboard want to taste local snacks,” said SM Masud Rana, group brand manager of BD Group, which makes and exports various processed foods and spices.
Sabjiana Ltd, a concern of BD Group, has been exporting frozen snacks since 2007. “We received very good responses,” said Rana.
The company exports various types of paratha, singara, puri and potato chop, mainly to the Middle East, UK, Italy and Australia.
In addition to these destinations, frozen snacks have also made their way into markets in North American, exporters said.
“We mainly export to the US,” said Samad Choudhury, chief operating officer of
Golden Harvest Agro Industries Ltd.
The company has been exporting frozen vegetables and snacks since 2006.
Choudhury said frozen snacks account for 40 percent of our export basket. “Demand for our products is high among ethnic people. They are opening the opportunity for us to enter the cross-cultural food markets.”
“It's a trillion-dollar-market worldwide,” said Choudhury. “We see huge market potential.”
A factor behind his forecasts on wider export market is the rise in the number of Bangladeshis and South Asian people abroad. “At the same time, people worldwide are showing interest to cross cultural foods.”