Tokyo, Guadalajara, New York, Anaheim, Milwaukee, Taipei, Bangkok, Boston, Orlando, and MORE! Read our full March 2019 recap to stay up to date with all the ways we are promoting U.S. food and ag around the globe!
March 2 – 8
Food Export – Midwest and Food Export – Northeast Executive Director Tim Hamilton traveled to Tokyo, Japan at the beginning of March to help administer our Food Show PLUS!™ services at FOODEX JAPAN 2019. FOODEX JAPAN is a 4 day exhibition showcasing 85,000+ buyers from food service, distribution, and trading companies around the world.
We had 13 U.S. suppliers that took advantage of the program and used it to enhance their trade show experience. The Food Show PLUS!™ service is customizable per company and event and is offered at trade shows all around the world. Services can include introductions to qualified buyers, a retail tour, an interpreter during show hours, post-show lead qualifications and more! More details and a full list of available tradeshows for our Food Show PLUS!™ services can be found on our website.
Street View of Tokyo
Food Show PLUS! at ExpoANTAD & Alimentaria
March 4 – 7
Food Export – Midwest and Food Export – Northeast had a booth and administered our Food Show PLUS! services at this year’s ExpoANTAD & Alimentaria. Our In-Market Representative for Mexico Raul was at the show to facilitate the program for our 4 U.S. suppliers exhibiting at the show.
We had a very special surprise visitor stop by the booth, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney! Secretary McKinney is very familiar with Food Export’s programs and services as he is a past Food Export – Midwest Board President from his time as Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
International Restaurant Show
New York, New York
March 3 – 5
The International Restaurant Show took place from March 3-5 in New York, New York. Food Export – Northeast Liaison Madison Smith attended the show which is co-located with Coffee Fest and Healthy Food Expo New York. According to their website “The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York is the only comprehensive event devoted to the Eastern U.S. restaurant, foodservice and hospitality market”. It was a great place to outreach to our current and future suppliers. The event was also being held at the same time as Vinexpo which Maddie was able to attend. It was a great opportunity to meet with our suppliers in person and hear about their export plans for 2019!
Food Export – Northeast supplier Asarasi
Food Export – Northeast supplier Brooklyn Crafted
Natural Products Buyers Mission at Natural Products Expo West
March 5 – 7
Food Export held our Natural Products Buyers Mission at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim from March 6 – 7 in conjunction with the Organic Trade Association. Natural Products Expo West is one of the largest shows in the U.S. that encompasses food and natural products.
This year we had 38 participating suppliers and 19 international buyers for a busy couple days of one-on-one meetings. As usual the international buyers were taken on a retail tour of U.S. stores to become more familiar with the U.S. grocery store industry.
Initial reports show a total of 390+ new supplier/buyer introductions. The coordination of export sales always take time so we expect to see that number increase even more over the next few months. Several of our suppliers mentioned that the Food Export Helpline was a great preparation tool for them to know what to expect during the meetings! Find out more about the Food Export Helpline and how it could benefit your company.
Food Export – Midwest supplier Jonny Pops booth
Food Export – Midwest supplier KiZE Concepts Inc.
Food Export – Midwest supplier Simply Sunflower with Liaison Lauren
Food Export – Northeast supplier Vermont Village
Food Export – Midwest supplier Lillie’s Q
Midwest Foodservice Expo
March 11 – 13
Food Export – Midwest Liaison Paul Sorenson traveled to Milwaukee to attend the Midwest Foodservice Expo. According to their website the “Midwest Foodservice Expo provides the latest products, training, trends, and solutions specifically for the restaurant and foodservice industries. Food, beverage, and hospitality professionals united with industry suppliers for new ideas and new products”. It was a great opportunity to meet with current and potential Food Export – Midwest participant companies and network in the food service industry.
Paul couldn’t leave Milwaukee without stopping by to say hello to the “Bronze Fonze”.
Focused Trade Mission to Taiwan for Retail Products
March 11 – 12
Food Export coordinated a trade mission to Taiwan March 11-12, right after FOODEX in Japan so suppliers could kill two birds with one stone and only had to cross the ocean once. The first day in Taipei the group was joined by Chris Frederick, Agricultural Trade Office Director for a market briefing. Many suppliers have been impacted by the trade disputes in China, so there was a lot of good dialogue between the suppliers, Chris Frederick, and Steven Chu, Food Export’s in-market representative in Taiwan.
Then the group went on a retail store tour to check out the retail landscape in Taiwan. Fun fact: Taiwan has the second ratio of convenience store per population density – there is one convenience store for every 2,000 people (approx.)! On the second day, one-on-one business meetings took place. Over 100 meetings took place between our 9 U.S. suppliers and Taiwanese importers and distributors. Between meetings, Food Export hosted a lunch reception which was a great opportunity to network with the Taiwanese trade and local FAS staff!
March 12 – 13
Food Export-Midwest, Food Export-Northeast, SUSTA, WUSATA, and NASDA team members were all in Arlington, Virginia from March 12th to 13th for the annual SRTG meeting. Having staff from all of these organizations in the same place at the same time to discuss ag, exports, trade and how to better help U.S. companies promote their products around the world is always beneficial!
Food Show PLUS! at VIV Asia
March 12 – 15
Food Export-Midwest exhibited at VIV Asia for the first time in order to coordinate our Food Show PLUS™ services for four U.S. suppliers. This trade show is held bi-annually in Bangkok, Thailand and is one of the largest shows in the animal feed industry with 60 country pavilions and 1,250 exhibitors. Before the show started, the local USDA staff coordinated with the Thai Feed Mill Association to provide an excellent overview of feed production in Thailand and neighboring states.
Although Thailand is not one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of manufacturing feed, Southeast Asia as a region would comprise the 3rd largest feed market in the world – only exceeded by the U.S. and China. U.S. companies who signed up for our Food Show PLUS™ service were thrilled with the support of Food Export’s In-Market Representatives and having additional meetings with qualified buyers (including a sponsored buyer from Indonesia).
Judging by the quality of the show, Food Export will be back in 2021!
Seafood Buyers Mission at 2019 Seafood Expo North America
March 17 – 19
Our annual Seafood Buyers Mission was held this year in Boston on the same weekend as the 2019 Seafood Expo North America. It was our largest seafood Buyers Mission yet with a total of 19 buyers and 25 different U.S. suppliers. The meetings were held at the historic Boston Fish Pier in the exchange building at the end of the pier where historically fish auctions were held with U.S. suppliers selling their local fish to buyers from all over the globe. A few hundred years may have passed but the same thing happened between our U.S. suppliers and international buyers.
This year was also the largest show ever in terms of exhibitors. We had 29 companies use the Branded Program to help with the cost of exhibiting at the show, some of them used funds from the recently announced Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) to help with their costs. Six of our exhibiting companies participated in the first ever Massachusetts Ave and promoted Massachusetts seafood.
Food Export – Northeast also hosted their first ever Oyster Seminar to educate U.S. suppliers and international buyers on the current status of the oyster trade between the U.S. and EU, which is expected to reopen later this year after over a decade of being closed. The Oyster Seminar provided great insights on both the quality and farming methods of U.S. oysters and the consumption and distribution trends of oysters in Europe. Below is a brief outline of the presentations and topics that were covered.
Snapshot of Farmed Oyster Production in Northeast USA
– Overview of Farmed Oyster Production in Northeast USA – Bob Rheault, Executive Director, East Coast Shellfish Growers Association
– Oyster Farming Methods – Dr. Dale Leavitt, Roger Williams University
Snapshot of European Oyster Distribution & Consumption
– Oyster Distribution in Europe (Focus: The Netherlands) – Alexander Wever, Food Export – Northeast In-Market Representative
– French Oyster Production & Consumption – Jerome Lafon, Aquaculture & Fisheries Sectors, FranceAgriMer
The seminar was very interactive and there were many questions from the audience.
Massachusetts State Member Bonita Oehlke (far left), Food Export – Northeast International Marketing Program Manager Suzanne Milshaw (second to left), Food Export – Northeast Liaison Apryl King (second to right), and Maine State Member Jeff Bennett (right) on the Seafood Retail Tour
Massachusetts Food Export Intern Andrew Greenwell (left), Maine State Member Jeff Bennet (center), and Food Export – Northeast International Marketing Program Senior Coordinator Andrew Haught (right) pose in front of the Food Export – Northeast booth
Food Export – Northeast Seafood Program Coordinator Colleen Coyne introducing the first speaker of the seminar Bob Rheault Executive Director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association.
Pet Food Buyers Mission at the 2019 Global Pet Expo
March 20 – 22
Food Export held a Pet Food Buyers Mission at the 2019 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL. The Global Pet Expo is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show and features a lot of innovate and new pet products available to the market. The show offers a unique experience, complete with pet food for human consumption and a variety of live animals, some were even available for adoption! Attendees can bring their pets to walk the show floor with them and sample the brands. The current trends in pet food are similar to human food in that the majority are natural and organic.
The Buyers Mission featured 19 U.S. suppliers of pet food ingredients and 9 international buyers. There were a total of 128 new supplier buyer introductions at the mission and 35 new distributorships established. Initial export sales as a result are valued at 4.6 Million dollars.
6th Annual Fish Congress
March 28 – 29
Food Export – Northeast’s In-Market Representative Alexander Wever was invited to speak at the 6th Polish Fish Congress in Gdynia, Poland on March 28th. The conference is an annual meeting of Polish fish industry managers and this was Food Export’s first time presenting to this market. Over the last 20 years Poland became a big player in seafood processing and is said to have some of the most modern seafood production plants in Europe processing in particular salmon, herring, and Alsaka pollock. Alexander shared information about Food Export’s main fisheries including lobster, scallops, monkfish, and dogfish, including information on the product forms available. As well as the Northeast U.S. seafood industry’s focus on sustainability of these wild fisheries. 150 industry members attended the presentation and Alexander received inquiries from four buyers for additional information about Northeastern U.S. seafood. He also invited all participants to meet with US Northeast exhibitors during Seafood Expo Global in Brussels in early May.
COMING UP IN APRIL
Focused Trade Mission to Toronto for Specialty and Natural Products – April 1 – 5
Beer Ingredients Buyers Mission at Brew Expo – April 9
Food Export – Northeast Program Committee Meeting – April 10 – 11
Food Export – Midwest Marketing Directors Meeting – April 16 – 17
USDA Agri-Business Trade Mission to Taiwan – April 22 – 25
Food Show PLUS! at SIAL Canada – April 30 – May 1
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