August 24, 2022

From the Field: In-Market Representative Reports – August 2022



Food Export - Midwest and Food Export - Northeast have developed a network of uniquely experienced 19 overseas In-Market Representatives around the globe. These local marketing experts with food industry experience provide on-the-ground help in assisting Food Export - Midwest and Food Export - Northeast to implement our various programs and services.  

In addition, through regular trade servicing, these local representatives are aware of issues, trends and opportunities for international buyers to connect with suppliers of U.S. agricultural and food products. Every month we will share with you some of the top market information from the trade servicing reports we receive to help you improve your international exporting efforts.  

 

BRAZIL 

The consumption of cookies and soft drinks has increased among Brazilians in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Consumption is increasing among all types of consumers but especially in lower-income consumers.  
 
 

FRANCE 

Sales of seafood from local fishmongers increased by 32.7% between October 2020 and October 2021, while sales in hypermarkets during the same period increased by only 7.5%. Fishmongers promote a higher level of quality, freshness and care for sustainability to their customers. Fishmongers aim to grow their market position by expanding their offerings to include prepared foods and ready meals and offering value-added services such as recipe sharing, home delivery and/or click and collect. 

 

GERMANY 

According to a recent nutrition report published by the Germany Department of Agriculture, 48% of consumers rate environmental concerns as highly important when making their purchasing decisions, yet show a lack of knowledge about making climate-friendly decisions around purchases of meat and animal products. German authorities are working on new labelling requirements and mandatory certifications for meat products to make these choices more transparent to consumers. In the meantime, younger consumers (age 14 – 29) and families are showing increased consumption of plant-based meat substitutes, most popularly made with soy or pulses. The demand for plant-based foods and meat substitutes is a promising market segment with potential for American suppliers. 

 

GUATEMALA 

Consolidated cargo is an option that has grown by 24% in the face of rising shipping costs. The congestion of containers in key ports, delays, and high costs, which have reached up to US$16,000 per container, have led supply chains to restructure their processes and find ways to facilitate imports. Given the current situation, companies are exploring the consolidated cargo service, consisting of transporting in one container the goods of several customers who pay only for the cubic meters they need, resulting in lower costs. Guatemala has become a hub for consolidated cargo for El Salvador and Honduras. Suppliers can advise importers from the region to use this strategy as freight and shipping costs have become the main challenge for importing U.S. food products in the region.  

 

SOUTH KOREA 

Imports of beef, pork and chicken each jumped around 30% in 2022 to date. Inflation and an increase in demand from the foodservice sector are two contributing factors to the sharp increase in imports of livestock products. With high inflation, consumers are now looking for cheaper imported goods instead of the more expensive domestically-produced ones. The import volume of livestock products in Korea is expected to further rise with the government’s decision to implement a zero tariff on 100,000 tons of imported livestock products from Australia and the United States. Imports over those amounts would still face a tariff. A tariff on imported chicken will also be reduced from the current 20 – 30% to zero. A zero tariff on 50,000 tons of pork was already imposed in June and will be extended to 70,000 tons. The reduced tariffs will continue through the end of 2022. 

 

TAIWAN 

In an effort to reduce the amount of single-use, beverage containers, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be disincentivizing the use of disposable platic, cardboard or polystyrene cups for take-out purchases at convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, supermarkets and tea shops. The Taiwan government’s efforts are part of a UN effort to reduce global plastic pollution. in 2020, four billion disposable cups were estimated to be used in the country.  

 

VIETNAM 

Food and beverages make up between 40 – 48% of Vietnamese household expenditure. Vietnam is anticipated to be among the top three Asian markets for food and beverage development based on its upward mobility, urbanization, rising affluence and age demographics. As Generation Z consumers (those born from 1996 – 2012) come into adulthood, studies show they are willing to spend a large portion of their disposable income on dining out and that they are more receptive to international products. They also show concern for ethical and sustainable sourcing and an interest in local products. The interest in and willingness to pay more for healthy food products has been a trend across all age groups that grew out of the pandemic. The health focus has stimulated demand for foods targeting specific diets such as gluten-free and keto. Other issues such as product traceability and nutrition are gaining importance. Brands who are looking to tap into this trend should also think about Vietnamese food culture and how this can be incorporated into their healthier offerings. For example, the popularity of green vegetables (Vietnam has many different kinds), the desire for healthier snacks and foods that can be enjoyed together, as the Vietnamese prefer to eat with others.