Tomato Paste Demand in West Africa Is Driving Production Growth

Tomato paste is a staple food product in West Africa. It is not surprising that people can consume over 900,000 tons of red paste in a year. It is the main ingredient in most recipes in this country.

The Huge Demand

The largest producer of tomatoes in Sub-Saharan Africa is Nigeria. Ironically, they are also Africa’s largest importer of tomato paste.

Despite the vast tracts of agricultural lands planted with tomatoes, West Africa remained dependent on international producers to meet the demands of the local market. This problem is mainly caused by the slow industrial development. About three-quarters of their tomato products are wasted due to lack of storage facilities and food processing factories.

With the tomato paste as a major fast-moving-consumer-good (FMCG) in Africa, billions of US dollars spent were on imports of the tomato concentrate.

China and Italy are the major suppliers in West Africa in the past. The entry of other food manufacturers from the United Arab Emirates has significantly tipped the balance in favour of Africa’s closest neighbour, the UAE.

Tomato Paste Manufacturers in the UAE

One of the major tomato paste manufacturers in the UAE is able to secure a niche in the lucrative West African market. Delta food Industries FZC has gained a significant share in Africa’s billion-dollar imports by producing high-value commodities at a much lower price.

Delta Food’s tomato paste production in the first quarter of 2018 alone has surpassed that of last year’s with the increase in the demand for the big size can packaging. Having its own can making factory has greatly reduced the company’s overhead expenses. The state-of-the-art factory that is making the smallest 70g can with necking features is also making the 2.2 kg cans. The big-sized cans are gaining prominence in grocery shelves across Africa.