With its population approaching 200 million, consumer businesses should take off in Pakistan, if the right amount of capital is invested and an appropriate marketing strategy is adopted.
Food products stand above all in consumer products. Given the expected food shortage and food security concerns in many countries, including Pakistan, growers of food commodities and other food-related businesses are expected to benefit immensely in the decades to come.
Pakistan is a huge and growing market for food. In big cities like Karachi and Lahore, restaurants of all types and sizes are jam-packed during opening hours.
Looking at the restaurant business, it appears that very little” including economic uncertainty, has adversely affected food consumption.
The popular media has also picked up on this culinary zeitgeist and almost all the TV channels in the country have programmes on cooking and other aspects of food.
For some years a number of ‘food streets’ have sprouted up in different cities, most notably Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. In terms of growth potential and expansion, Lahore offers exciting opportunities.
The area that stands in the shadow of the historical Badshahi Mosque is a great example of regeneration that the government of Punjab successfully undertook. Such regeneration projects in different parts of the country are not only developing a culture of sophisticated culinary habits, but are also creating sustainable employment opportunities for many.
Other newly-established food streets and similar developments include Sea View restaurants and Port Grand Food Street.
Creating business opportunities around the consumption of food is arguably the foundation of a sustainable economy, especially in a country the size of Pakistan. There are numerous examples of successful global food businesses that have contributed immensely to the economies of their respective countries of origins.
McDonald’s is perhaps the best example of such a success story, with gross revenues of over $34.17 billion (2012 figures). In terms of financials, McDonald’s is bigger than Latvia, as the latter’s GDP of $26.14 billion (2011 figures) was smaller than McDonald’s annual revenue for the same year ($27 billion).