From the Field: In-Market Representative Reports – June 2020

A 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 better your international exporting efforts.


USMCA Update

USMCA goes into effect July 1st, this means that Certificates of Origin under NAFTA will no longer be valid as of end of day June 30, 2020. This also means that any company who had a NAFTA Origin Determination Ruling for a product will no longer be valid as of June 30, 2020.

COVID-19 Update

Food shortages have dwindled. Shelves are well-stocked. Products shipping over the U.S./Canada border appear to be moving well. However, products coming from Europe are experiencing major delays. Online sales continue to grow substantially, with retailers having difficulty keeping up with the demand.


Wholesalers are selling directly to individual consumers. Several wholesalers that were targeting hotels and restaurants are currently selling to individual consumers using social media. Home cooking is making a huge comeback as consumers want food with minimal human touch points before of COVID-19.

Growth in the Caribbean economy is expected to decrease by 6.2% in 2020 due to the decrease in tourism.


The Central America retail sector is up 30%. In Panama and Costa Rica there has been a peak in purchases of U.S. food ingredients and premixes (waffles, pancakes, cakes, breads, cookies, candies, etc) as well as sweets and snacks.


Colombia has moved forward with the law project also known as the “junk food law” to define a technical regulation to define the approved limits of sugar, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, additives and GMOs. The law aims to adopt measures for the promotion of healthy nutritional environments and to prevent non-communicable diseases.

The project has been introduced before the Chamber in the past and heavy lobby strategies have prevented it to pass. The project also recommends the implementation of the National Intersectoral Council for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases working directly under the Health Ministry. A key point of discussion for this law project is related to labeling of food products as the F&B industry has been resistant to this regulation that, if approved, would be in force in 12 months.


One of Hong Kong’s leading frozen meal manufacturers has just introduced a plant-based omnipork dumpling. This move signals the surging demand for plant based options amongst mainstream consumers who are now increasingly concerned with their health and the environment.


Organic produce in UAE have seen delivery sales spike as much as 300-400% as residents become increasingly health conscious amid COVID. There has also been a spike in organic, lactose free and non-dairy milk. 


Baking has increased in the Republic of Ireland with 50% of households buying baking ingredients. Purchases of flour and sugar were up by 52% and 43% respectively in May. In the U.K., butter was May’s fastest growing category, up 16.1%. Eggs and cream also grew by more than 15% compared to last year and sugar sales grew by 46% over the same time period.

Have questions about a specific market?  You can schedule a 30 minute one-on-one Virtual Consultation with any of our In-Market Representatives around the globe on this page of our website.