From the Field: In-Market Representative Report – July 2021

July 2021 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.


In June 2021, the Mexico based convenience store chain, Oxxo, opened 5 stores in São Paulo. Oxxo is one of the largest retailers in the world and has had stores in Brazil since 2020 that offer regular supermarket products as well as a large food service section with a variety of snacks, sandwiches, pizzas, ready-to-eat meals, desserts, and assorted beverages.

According to a survey carried out by Nielsen 53% of Brazilians continue to cook at home, even with isolation measures beginning to loosen up. This is partially because many people are still working from home, and also due to the perception of Brazilian consumers that preparing their meals is healthier and more economical.

This new habit has led to an increase in the demand for seasonings, spices, and bakery products.  With cake mix sales increasing 30% in the first half of 2021 alone.  Even though consumers have acquired the habit of cooking, they still seek practicality with indulgent items.


The Ministry of Health in Colombia issued a new resolution establishing additional nutritional labeling requirements. This regulation applies to all processed/packaged foods sold in Colombia by manufacturers or importers.

Labels must now include:

  • Large frontal warning seals to alert about high sodium, added sugar and saturated fat content
  • 25% of the label must be designed for the nutritional table, referencing values based on the Energy and Nutrient Intake Recommendations for the Colombian population
  • Compliance with the technical updated parameters that allow the use of claims such as excellent source, good source, reduced, free, fortified, increased, low in, no added sugars and no added sodium, sodium-free, very low, extra-lean

Importers may use the product’s original labels, even in other languages, as long as they include a sticker in Spanish with the new mandatory additional information and seals and the data.


Indonesians are consuming more frozen food recently because of its practicality and efficiency. For example, as of March 2021 Tokopedia, an Indonesian technology company specializing in e-commerce, has sold 40,000 processed food products, compared to 24,000 last June.


Despite public opposition, preparations for the Summer Olympics later this month are moving ahead and athletes from other countries are beginning to arrive in Tokyo.  The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday July 23rd.  It was recently announced that a limited number of Japanese residents will be allowed to attend the games as spectators.


A new law was passed in Peru for the Promotion of Healthy Eating for Children and Adolescents.

This law establishes that, in advertising/packaging of food and non-alcoholic beverages with trans fats and high content of sugar, sodium and saturated fats, the following phrases must be clearly, legibly, prominently and understandably displayed, as appropriate:

  • High in (Sodium-sugar-saturated fats): Avoid excessive consumption
  • Contains trans fats: Avoid consumption.

This follows the trends of many other Latin and South American countries that have recently put new labeling laws into effect in an effort to increase consumer knowledge and better health.


The Korea Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a consumer survey.  The results of the survey say that 78% of consumers increased on-line purchases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Grocery food was the category that consumers increased on-line shopping the most (71%), followed by restaurant food (31%), kitchen and home products (30%), and fashion clothing (28%).

Easy deliveries (58%), COVID-19 health concerns (57%), and lower prices (50%) were key reasons for consumers increased on-line shopping.


As of July 1st, the EU Digital COVID Certificate enters into effect throughout the EU. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is a form of digital proof that a person has either:

  • Been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Received a negative test result
  • Recovered from COVID-19

This is long-awaited news and it is expected to facilitate the free movement of people within the EU, as well as represent a huge boost for tourism and therefore for all businesses related to it, including hotels and restaurants.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be accepted in all EU Member States.  It will help to ensure that restrictions currently in place can be lifted in a coordinated manner.


The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a draft amendment on June 28tH to require stores selling freshly made beverages, such as bubble tea, to indicate their caffeine content. It goes into effect on July 1, 2022.

Failure to label drinks as required would result in a fine from NT$30,000 to NT$3 million (US$1,075 to US$107,488). Operators can be fined up to NT$4 million for labels that contain inaccurate information, the FDA said.