The annual fresh fruit production in Turkey is more than 18 million tons, which accounts for an important part of world production.
The fruit juice and concentrate industry has become one of the progressive agroindustry sectors in Turkey. This export-oriented industry has flourished rapidly due to the modern production units, new investments and strong support of abundant fresh fruit production. Fruit juices of various types (concentrated, mixed, sweetened etc.) are very popular primarily because of their nutrient content. The products of this sector are also good alternatives to carbonated beverages.
The species processed into fruit juice and concentrates are apples, pears, apricots, peaches, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, sour cherries, strawberries, pomegranates and grapes.
Over the past three decades there has been a structural change in the pattern of world fruit consumption. The share of processed fruit consumption has increased because of the improved uniform quality, year round availability and increased convenience of processed forms, while fresh consumption has declined. Among various processed forms, fruit juices have always been one of the most popular forms of processed fruits in the world and many people feel that breakfasts are incomplete without fruit juice since they constitute important place in the diet. The Turkish fruit juice industry started its production in the late 1960s and has flourished rapidly thanks to modern production units, new investments and the advantage of abundant fresh fruit production. There are more than 40 brands of about 35 producer companies, some of which have both fruit processing and bottling lines while some others only deal with either fruit processing or the bottling of fruit juices.
The fruit species that are processed into fruit juice in Turkey are apples, sour cherries, apricots, peaches, oranges, grapes, mandarin, grapefruits, lemons, quinces, strawberries and pomegranates. Apple juice concentrate is the main production item and sour cherry juice is the second major product in the sector. Almost all of the fruits that are used as raw material in the fruit juice industry are obtained from domestic production.
The availability of large quantities of fruit allowed the establishment of exportoriented, sophisticated and efficient fruit juice plants in Turkey. Exports of fruit juices and concentrates started with a symbolic quantity of 6 tons in 1970, and after that showed a rapid and steady increase, reaching approximately 103 thousand tons in 2012. Generally, apple, citrus (mainlyorange) and pomegranate juice concentrates are produced for exporting. In addition to them, sour cherry juice and some fruit nectars, mainly peach and apricot, are produced for the domestic market and some are exported as well.
The Netherlands and Germany constituted %35 of Turkish fruit juices and concentrates exports in 2012. The United Kingdom, the USA and Italy were among the key export markets in 2012.