Strategically located in Western Europe, the Kingdom of the Netherlands shares land borders with key trading partners Germany and Belgium as well as a maritime border with the United Kingdom. The Netherlands also has a presence in the Caribbean including Aruba, Saba and Bonaire.
Despite its relatively small population, the Netherlands ranks as the world’s 27th biggest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, outputting US$1.056 trillion worth of products and services as of April 2021.
Informally called Holland, the Netherlands places second among the most densely members of the European Union after Malta. The Netherlands’ population was 17.5 million people in 2021.
The Netherlands is recognizable as one of the world’s most profitable and productive trading hubs.
The official language for the Netherlands is Dutch, with 90% of native Dutch people also speaking English as a second language.
Demand for imported consumer goods from the Netherlands in 2020 resulted in a subtotal US$213 billion worth of Dutch spending on the 100 most valuable consumer imports identified in this article.
That consumer-driven dollar amount translates to 44.1% of the overall value of all goods imported into Netherlands. Spending on all Dutch imports, including raw materials, intermediate products and semi-finished goods, totaled an estimated overall $482.8 billion in 2020.
Among the most valuable consumer products imported into the Netherlands for 2020 are: phone devices including smartphones; processed petroleum oils; computers including optical readers; medications; and cars.
Spending on all of the Netherlands’ imported goods declined by -6.2% from 2019 to 2020. Dutch purchases focused on its top 100 consumer imports posted a smaller -5.8% decrease over the latest annual period.
The deceleration in Dutch spending for key imported consumer products was less drastic than the global average decline from 2019 to 2020, which was an average drop of -8.2% for all importing countries around the world.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by the Netherlands, 59 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 41 declined.
Changes in Dutch consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Netherlands’ Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases the Netherlands’ 100 most valuable imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|2||Processed petroleum oils||$17,123,958,000||-41.7%||CP|
|3||Computers, optical readers||$16,138,778,000||+7.4%||SP|
|9||Computer parts, accessories||$3,307,388,000||+17.1%||SP|
|10||Electrical converters/power units||$3,250,180,000||+7.8%||SP|
|13||Rubber tires (new)||$2,373,267,000||-9.2%||SP|
|14||Miscellaneous plastic items||$2,298,807,000||+6.8%||CP|
|15||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$2,238,062,000||+0.9%||SP|
|16||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$2,180,006,000||+2.5%||CP|
|17||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$2,154,787,000||+3.6%||SP|
|21||Yachts, canoes, row boats||$2,105,084,000||+7.1%||SP|
|22||Other food preparations||$1,861,374,000||+10.7%||CP|
|24||Other pharmaceutical goods||$1,763,101,000||+39.1%||SP|
|25||Women's clothing (not knit/crochet)||$1,751,364,000||-9.8%||SP|
|31||Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)||$1,631,794,000||-6.9%||SP|
|32||Men's suits (unknit/non-crochet)||$1,627,817,000||-8.3%||SP|
|33||Electric storage batteries||$1,613,105,000||+3.8%||SY|
|34||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$1,590,850,000||+2%||SY|
|36||Miscellaneous textile items||$1,473,229,000||+225.2%||SP|
|37||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$1,471,130,000||+1.8%||CP|
|38||Cases, handbags, wallets||$1,457,469,000||-21.9%||SP|
|39||Fresh or chilled beef||$1,400,732,000||-10.8%||CP|
|42||Unrecorded sound media||$1,373,011,000||-21.2%||SP|
|43||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$1,354,301,000||-11.2%||SP|
|45||Chocolate, other cocoa preps||$1,343,214,000||+2.3%||CP|
|46||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$1,315,053,000||+16.7%||CP|
|50||Paper containers, cellulose wads||$1,262,653,000||+0.6%||SP|
|51||Fruit and vegetable juices||$1,256,285,000||-2.1%||CP|
|54||Miscellaneous iron/steel items||$1,183,957,000||+0.4%||SP|
|56||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$1,164,056,000||+15.8%||CP|
|58||Miscellaneous live plants||$1,103,376,000||+9.8%||CP|
|60||Hot-roll iron/non-alloy steel items||$1,070,007,000||-9.2%||SP|
|61||Other organic cleaning preps||$1,064,945,000||-1.5%||CP|
|64||Women's clothing (knit/crochet)||$965,581,000||-8.5%||SP|
|65||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$930,169,000||+1.6%||CP|
|68||Alcohol (spirits, liqueurs)||$879,993,000||-2.7%||CP|
|69||Screws, bolts, washers, pins||$862,685,000||-9.2%||SP|
|72||Waters with added sugar||$850,299,000||+7%||CP|
|73||Sowing seeds, fruits, spores||$836,275,000||-4.9%||CP|
|75||Footwear (rubber or plastic)||$809,802,000||-6.3%||SP|
|76||Other preserved/prepared meat||$798,110,000||-4.1%||CP|
|77||Bicycles, non-motorized cycles||$767,639,000||+13.8%||SP|
|78||Video console/table games||$765,436,000||+13.1%||SP|
|79||Perfumes, toilet waters||$757,208,000||-2%||CP|
|82||Fish fillets, pieces||$726,297,000||-4.1%||CP|
|83||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$714,786,000||-44.3%||CP|
|85||Household base metal mountings||$707,285,000||+1.7%||SY|
|87||Miscellaneous preserved fruits||$705,355,000||+1.2%||CP|
|88||Other fresh/chilled vegetables||$682,936,000||+7%||CP|
|89||Malt extract, food preparations||$680,451,000||-19.9%||CP|
|91||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$674,027,000||+23.6%||SP|
|92||Electric generating sets/converters||$672,655,000||+9.5%||SY|
|93||Medication mixes not in dosage||$668,674,000||+10.1%||CP|
|94||Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust||$666,703,000||+124.5%||CP|
|95||Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)||$666,522,000||+27.1%||CP|
|96||Men's coats (unknit/non-crochet)||$659,830,000||-5.2%||SP|
|97||Women's coats (not knit/crochet)||$654,540,000||-9.3%||SP|
|99||Shaving preparations, deodorants||$608,866,000||+3.3%||SP|
Totaling 45 items, Dutch most popular product type is shopping products (SP). This cohort was led by imported phone devices including smartphones; computers; cars; printing machinery; orthopedic appliances; automobile parts or accessories; and computer parts or accessories.
In second place via 44 items are convenience products (CP), articles that are bought routinely, used only once and generally require less thinking time before making a buying decision. Popular examples include processed petroleum oils; medications; miscellaneous items made from plastic; plastic packing goods, lids and caps; miscellaneous food preparations; and palm oil.
Another 11 speciality products (SY) rank among Dutch top 100 imported consumer goods. Major speciality products imported into the Netherlands include: liquid pumps; electric storage batteries; electric water heaters; refrigerators or freezers; and air conditioners.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications, sugar and corn are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 56 of Dutch highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 44 are classified as non-durable.
Using the provided table, you can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into the Netherlands that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.
- Miscellaneous textile items: Up 225.2% (US$1.5 billion)
- Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust: Up 124.5% ($666.7 million)
- Sun/safflower/cotton-seed oil: Up 42.8% ($751.9 million)
- Miscellaneous pharmaceutical goods: Up 39.1% ($1.8 billion)
- Prepared or prepared fish including caviar: Up 27.1% ($666.5 million)
- Packaged insecticides, herbicides: Up 23.6% ($674 million)
- Sports equipment: Up 18.8% ($1.1 billion)
- Dates/pineapples/mangos/avocados: Up 18.5% ($1.7 billion)
- Computer parts, accessories: Up 17.1% ($3.3 billion)
- Miscellaneous fresh fruits: Up 16.7% ($1.3 billion)
The 5 fastest-growers are imported shopping products. These are miscellaneous textile items; miscellaneous pharmaceutical goods; packaged insecticides or herbicides; sports equipment; and computer parts or accessories.
The other 5 front-runners are non-durable imported convenience products. These growth leaders include fuel wood, wood chips or sawdust; the product subcategory titled sunflower, safflower or cotton-seed oil; and preserved or prepared fish including caviar.
Not one among the above top 10 gainers is a speciality product.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
Spending by import buyers in the Netherlands on the following 10 items decreased in value by the highest percentages from 2019 to 2020.
- Petroleum gas: Down -54.4% (US$1.7 billion)
- Coal including solid fuels from coal: Down -44.3% ($714.8 million)
- Processed petroleum oils: Down -41.7% ($17.1 billion)
- Tractors: Down -24.8% ($855.2 million)
- Cases, handbags, wallets: Down -21.9% ($1.5 billion)
- Unrecorded sound media: Down -21.2% ($1.4 billion)
- Malt extract, food preparations: Down -19.9% ($680.5 million)
- Automobile parts/accessories: Down -17.9% ($5.1 billion)
- Cars: Down -17% ($10.4 billion)
- Printing machinery: Down -13.9% ($6.1 billion)
Six categories among the Netherlands’ top 10 severest decliners are durable shopping products used over a period of time. The strongest slippages among those categories were for Holland’s imported tractors; cases, handbags and wallets; unrecorded sound media; automobile parts or accessories; cars; and printing machinery.
There were 4 non-durable convenience products among Dutch 10 major import decliners from 2019 to 2020, namely petroleum gas; coal-related goods; processed petroleum oils; and malt extract or malt food preparations.
Key Product Suppliers by Country
The following analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of the most valuable consumer import products imported by the Netherlands.
The Netherlands’ biggest imported consumer product by value is phones including smartphones. The other 4 leading consumer goods imported into the Netherlands are processed petroleum oils, computers, medications and cars.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for key products imported into the Netherlands:
Phones including smartphones: China (33.7% of total), United States (9.8%), Hong Kong (8.2%), Malaysia (7.5%), Vietnam (6%), Mexico (3.8%), Germany (also 3.8%), Czech Republic (3.5%), Belgium (2.9%), and Thailand (2.7%).
Processed petroleum oils: Belgium (24.3% of total), United Kingdom (11.5%), Russia (8.9%), Germany (7.5%), Singapore (4.2%), Spain (3.8%), Sweden (3.6%), France (3.4%), Finland (2.9%), and the United States (2.8%).
Computers: China (43% of total), United States (8.9%), Germany (6.3%), Taiwan (5.1%), Czech Republic (also 5.1%), Belgium (4.9%), Hong Kong (4.8%), Hungary (4%), Ireland (3.4%), and Thailand (2.4%).
Medications: Germany (33.1% of total), United Kingdom (10.7%), Switzerland (10.2%), Ireland (9.1%), Belgium (8.6%), United States (5.9%), Italy (5.3%), France (4.8%), India (1.3%), and Denmark (1.2%).
Cars: Germany (41.9% of total), Belgium (20.4%), South Korea (6%), Czech Republic (5.4%), France (4.7%), Spain (4.4%), United Kingdom (2.9%), Slovakia (2.7%), Sweden (2.2%), and Romania (1.2%).
More great research: Indonesia’s 100 Top Imported Consumer Products, Bangladesh’s 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Products, United Kingdom’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, 100 Best Imported Consumer Products to Sell to Importers in Pakistan, Sweden’s Top Imported Consumer Products Ranked by Value
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Netherlands Economy.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.
Trading Economics, Netherlands Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, Netherlands Top 10 Imports.