A firm in the Afyonkarahisar province of central-western Turkey has been exporting lokum – known as "Turkish delight" worldwide – to 50 countries around the world with an annual production of up to 650 tons.
The firm, which offers a wide range of products, has been exporting up to 490 tons of the traditional Turkish sweet it produces each year to six continents.
Chairman Mustafa Çetin Karagöz told Anadolu Agency (AA) Tuesday that the company has been making Turkish delight for 32 years in Afyonkarahisar – a city that earned a reputation with its sweets – and exporting the product to various countries and regions, including Italy, the U.S., Qatar, France, the U.K., Australia, Chile, Argentine, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Israel, along with several Turkic republics in Central Asia.
He noted that the firm is among a few Turkish companies that are able to exist in the Israeli market, adding that the firm is actually best known abroad but also has some chain stores in the country, as well.
The company began enhancing its work on research and development facilities in the 2000s, while keeping the employment rate at desired levels to enable the firm to maintain enough production to keep the export business flowing, Karagöz noted, adding, "Countries where we have not yet been are just new market opportunities for us."
Karagöz highlighted that they have been developing their product range based on the customers' demands, apart from just the classic Turkish delight.
For example, American and European customers prefer fruit-based and mastic-flavored delights while consumers in Arabian countries prefer delights containing nuts, Karagöz noted, adding that the company uses real fruit, like strawberries and rose petals, rather than just flavoring.
Karagöz added that a new factory is set to be established in Afyonkarahisar soon, which will further boost the production capacity of the firm.