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Aegean Exporters’ Associations Elevates Turkish Tastes in the US

Aegean Exporters’ Associations Elevates Turkish Tastes in the US

Turkish Tastes
Noe Banuelos - Heinz Lauer - Raul Villa - Rudy Janeo Jr. - Lucio Arancibia - Daniel Stramm - Sarper Celenk

With the entire food industry going through unprecedented challenges last year, Aegean Exporters’ Associations took decisive steps to elevate the exposure of Turkish Tastes in the US, starting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What is Turkish Tastes and Who is Aegean Exporters’ Associations?

Turkish Tastes is the brand all Turkish food & beverage exporters under the umbrella of Turkish Exporters Assembly are supposed to promote in international marketing efforts. Aegean Exporters’ Associations, as a regional subsidiary of the assembly based in the coastal side of western Turkey, is leading a 4-year project in which Turkish Tastes is expected to get exposure by large groups of American consumers and foodservice professionals.

Facts & Figures About AEA

The establishment of the organization goes back to 1940s. Today, it consists of 12 associations and 6 of which are food exporters. With more than 3000 member companies, the product groups represented the through the associations are:

  1. Dried Fruits & Nuts
  2. Seafood
  3. Olive & Olive Oil
  4. Cereals, Pulses, and Oil Seeds
  5. Processed Vegetable & Fruits
  6. Herbs & Spices

Although we hardly know Turkish brands in retail stores, the total export volume of the member companies to the US is worth billions of dollars yearly. And, guess what? You are most probably consuming a set of Turkish ingredients in your diet or using them in your menus such as dried apricots, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil.

What Did AEA Accomplish for Turkish Tastes Last Year Despite the Pandemic?

Before going through the accomplishments, you better understand the philosophy and the strategy AEA built. The organization wants to establish a long-lasting Turkish Tastes brand through strong partnerships, engage with as many foodservice professionals as possible, and create awareness in consumer groups. In this regard, the organization accomplished the following:

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Turkish Tastes 4th Traditional Culinary Competition New Orleans ACF Convention 2023 Ted Polfelt CEC,CEPC,CCA,AAC

  1. A series of 6 live cooking events at UNLV’s Hospitality Kitchen where Turkish manufacturers featured food products. During the cooking event an educational presentation live from Turkey was presented by the manufacturer to include nutrition information, history of the ingredient and recipe ideas. The presentations were warmly received by the guests which were a combination of Professors / Educators within the Hospitality Profession, Vice Presidents of Food and Beverage Operations, Sales Directors of major Distributors/Purveyors along with many Casino Chefs.
  2. A partnership with UNLV College of Hospitality for the next five years creating educational content promoting Turkish Foods.
  3. Introducing and conducting the 1st Annual Turkish Taste Culinary Competition in Las Vegas. Contestants were premiere casino cxecutive chefs in Las Vegas, owner/chef of catering business, educators/chef Instructor from UNLV College of Hospitality and more.
  4. A set of creative digital content to increase the awareness, share the health benefits of the ingredients, and engage with the consumers.
Chef Lucio Arancibia, Chef Daniel Stramm

What Lies Ahead in 2022 and Beyond?

The future of Aegean Exporters and the Branding of Turkish looks very promising. As the organization has started a “buzz’ in Las Vegas, the plans for 2021 and moving forward includes:

  • Host two major Food Events (mini food shows) where professional food service operators, and retail operators directly engage with Turkish manufacturers to test products, taste products and engage in establishing relations for potential business opportunities.
  • Aegean Exporters has partnered with UNLV and the Nevada Restaurant Association to publish a Turkish Cuisine reference book, a first of its kind. The book’s focus is to provide consumers and hospitality professionals comprehensive content of Turkish cuisine, ingredients, and the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. As a bonus the book includes 30 great tasting Turkish recipes.
  • The organization plans on offering continuing education through Nevada’s Restaurant Association and engaging directly with restaurants and food service operations themselves.
Chef James Brown, Chef Michelle Vietmeier, Chef Heinz Lauer, Chef Michael Guillard

If you want to get more information on the products and the events, please reach out to Also, you can follow Turkish Tastes Official on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. In the following issues of F & B Magazine, you will be able to get detailed information on ingredients and their top manufacturers.

Did You Know This? Turkey is…

  • The largest supplier of dried figs, dried apricots, and raisins.
  • The largest supplier of branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) and dorade (sea bream). Also, it is a major supplier of bluefin tuna.
  • The world’s 2nd largest olive, and 4th largest olive oil supplier.
  • The world’s 2nd largest pasta manufacturer.
  • The largest tomato sauces, roasted eggplant, roasted pepper supplier cumulatively.
  • Home to more than 4500 herbs and spices where oregano, thyme, bay (laurel) leaves, cumin, and sumac are cultivated and manufactured more than anywhere else in the world.
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