Food processing is a well-developed industry in Armenia with a long-established tradition of producing high-quality processed food, advanced logistic and distribution services. The country's favorable and unique soil and climate provide conditions for growing agricultural species that are famous all over the world. Armenian sweet jams, juices, tomato paste, vegetable marinades enjoy great demand both in the domestic and foreign markets. In addition to outstanding flavor and taste, walnut, fig, berry, and other preserves made by traditional technologies are highly nutritious and healthy.
The manufacturing of food products is one of the key subsectors of the processing industry, with a share of 39%. In the period of 2018-2020, the subsector increased by 64%. In 2020 the production of agro-food was worth about 1 $ billion. The sector is export-oriented. Exports of Armenian processed foods have been increasing immensely over the last five years, at a rate of 15-20% per annum for all sub-sectors diverse. In 2020 it constituted 22% of total export.
Exported Processed Food, Mln USD
Currently, about 1660 food processing companies are operating in the territory of Armenia. There are 187 milk processing and dairy producing companies. Cheese production has the largest share in the milk processing sector. Armenia produces over 30 types of cheese and 80 types of other dairy products and ice creams.
Though the number of operating companies is small, tea and coffee production is one of the rapidly developing subsectors in the food industry. Armenia is rich in regions famous for an ample variety of herbs growing in the mountains. In this sector, even SMEs and startups can have success with a small number of investments.
The subsectors of tobacco products and beverages have a more significant focus on export. The wine and brandy industry is one of the most important branches of the Armenian economy. Although Armenian winemaking dates back to ancient times, industrial winemaking started in the country only in the 1870s. The brandy industry was established in 1887. Due to the valuable local raw products and the use of new technologies, Armenian brandies and wines are awarded medals and prizes at international testing events. The country currently exports brandies, wines, preserved fruits and vegetables, and cheese to the CIS and European countries, the Middle East, and the American Continent. The fame of the Armenian products is already a fertile ground for export to major markets.