Austria has a small but highly developed market economy with a high standard of living. It occupies a strategic position in the center of Europe and is closely tied to other EU (European Union) economies, especially Germany’s. The Austrian economy is characterized by a large service sector, a strong industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed but small scale agricultural sector. Austria is an export-driven economy and EU countries are its most important trading partners. Consumer-oriented food and beverage products remain the most important agricultural import category from the United States. Austrian consumer trends are creating good market opportunities for organic, health, diet, convenience, and ‘sustainable’ food products. Please see below for top five sectors:
Fish and Seafood Products
The Austrian market offers small but lucrative opportunities for fish and seafood products. Fish consumption in Austria is growing as consumers associate fishery products with a modern healthy diet. Domestic fish production is marginal and limited to freshwater fish like trout and carp. Best prospects for U.S. fish and seafood exports are salmon smoked and frozen, lobster, shrimps, crabs, caviar substitutes, catfish, scallops, and pollock.
The United States is the fourth largest supplier of tree nuts to Austria. Most tree nuts are used as ingredients by the food processing sector. Almonds are the most important commodity within this category. Further products with good sales potential include walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and hazelnuts.
Processed Fruits and Vegetables
Austrian imports of processed fruits and vegetables are mainly prepared nuts/seeds and dried fruits. Those products are mostly used as ingredients by the food-processing sector for the production of pastries and breakfast cereals. Dried fruits and prepared nuts are also popular as a snack.
When it comes to hard liquor, Austrian traditionally drink Schnapps but it is becoming more and more popular to drink high quality, expensive whiskies. The United States is the second largest supplier to Austria, after the United Kingdom. There are still expectations for good export opportunities for U.S. whiskies (bourbons).
Fresh Fruit and Fresh Vegetables
After the locally grown fruits like apples and pears, citrus fruits are very popular especially during the winter season. In recent years other exotic and ethnic foods have become more popular due to Austrians traveling abroad and foreign immigration into Austria. Strong growth of exports from the United States can be seen for sweet potatoes and avocados.