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

July 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. 



Recent inflation is leading to more cautious consumer spending on food evidence by growth in sales of German discount chains of 6% over last year.  The increases are coming at a cost to other food retailers with specialized traders such as gourmet markets, farmers’ markets, artisan bakeries and butchers facing losses of up to 14% over last year. While it is anticipated that the economy will stabilize in 2023, opportunities for private label production are likely to remain strong.  U.S. suppliers active in the field for non-branded grocery items and large volume products could take advantage from the current momentum and build business in Europe. 



The Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Programme, which is a program of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF),  organized a campaign at over 30 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau to showcase sustainably and responsibly sourced seafood, coordinated with World Oceans Day on June 8th.  The participating restaurants include high-end hotels, restaurants and food halls.  Throughout the year, the Programme educates consumers about making sustainable seafood choices through its WWW Seafood Guide for Hong Kong.  According to WWF, Hong Kong is the second largest consumer of seafood in Asia per capita. 



The Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) had announced that the manufacturing, importation and sale of food packaged with polyvinylchloride (PVC) will be banned in Taiwan, effective July 2022.   The ban addresses concerns to human health when plasticizers and stabilizers in the PVC material leach into food products, especially liquids.  The Taiwan EPA also is concerned about the pollution caused through release of dioxins and heavy metals when PVC materials are incinerated.    

Bans on PVC packaging have been implemented in many countries, such as South Korea and New Zealand. Canada, Spain and some U.S. cities have also introduced PVC packaging bans.   



The UK government is planning to reduce import tariffs on selected products to lower food costs which have been swiftly rising due to inflation.   Products selected for tariff reduction will include those which do not compete with UK-produced products.  A recent study by Kantar, a UK data analytics company, reported an 8.3% price increase in grocery products from April to May 2022.