From the Field: In-Market Representative Report – January 2022

January 2022 monthly update from our global network of In-Market Representatives about what's going on in markets around the world.


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.


COVID-19 Update

On November 5th, the Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) announced a 10% temporary reduction in taxes for about 90% of imported products, such as beans, meat, pasta, biscuits, rice, among others. The reduced tax rate is valid until December 31st, 2022 and aims to lessen the impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the Brazilian economy.


During the last quarter of 2021 Colombia recorded an increase of 17% in consumption of Private Label products as reported by Kantar.  Also in Q4 of 2021 the pet food industry showed a strong recovery after contracting during the third quarter along with some food and beverage products and beauty and health care products.

Due to the ongoing global supply chain and shipping issues there is a shortage of locally manufactured beer in the Colombian market.  This is due to lack of available ingredients and packaging and is linked to the low supply of glass, cardboard, and aluminum. This increased prices for national beer during December 2021 and early 2022 by an average of 30%. Local Distributors are looking for alternatives with imported beers.


Until recently the impact of Brexit on European exporter shipping to the United Kingdom was minimal. The British government announced several exceptions and transition phases during which no custom controls were conducted on EU goods. The reasoning given for that was the general lack of logistics required to do so as well as an urgent need for European products in the market.

However, with the beginning of 2022, most of the exceptions are scheduled to end resulting in new requirements for EU exporters. Such as prior notices for any shipment entering the UK as well as mandatory certification for food stuffs and organic produce. For smaller and mid-size operations it is uncertain if they can fulfill these new regulations and keep their business profitable.

For U.S. companies, this can mean new opportunities in the UK while at the same time stronger competition within Europe as suppliers will have to look for alternative markets on the continent.


Japanese importers continue to report delays in shipments of agricultural products from the U.S. of up to 1-2 months. It is reported that shipments from the EU and China worsened recently, but the U.S. continues to be the worst.

COVID-19 Update

Japan had been in the process of easing travel restrictions for international visitors but is reverting back to earlier entry ban protocols.  Japan instituted an indefinite ban on entry of all non-citizens/residents at the end of November as a result of Omicron, which is now continuing into 2022.  For returning Japanese citizens/residents, a two-week quarantine period is required.


The domestic health functional food market in Korea exceeded $5 billion in 2021. This is an increase of more than 20% compared to 2017.  According to a professional research survey, 8 out of 10 consumers (81%) said they purchase health functional foods at least once a year. The average purchase amount per household was $310, and consumption increased over three years.  


January in the UK means it’s time for Veganuary, an annual challenge run by a UK nonprofit organization that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the entire month of January.   

Food Manufacture magazine reports that a number of new product launches have debuted to take full advantage of the opportunities offer by Veganuary 2022. These include:

  • A new plant milk that uses a fermentation method to create a more realistic dairy taste
  • A seaweed-based range of alternatives to fish and soy sauces
  • Several new vegan chocolate brands
  • Three new vegan doughnut varieties from Krispy Kreme
  • A new vegan cream cheese from Philadelphia
  • And several coffee shop and fast-food chains have launched vegan options from Vegan Mac and Cheese to Vegan Subs, Vegan Nuggets and Vegan Pepperoni Pizza