From the Field: In-Market Representative Reports – May 2024

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 19 uniquely experienced In-Market Representatives around the globe. These local marketing experts in the food industry provide Food Export with on-the-ground assistance to implement our various programs and services.

In addition, through regular trade servicing, these local representatives report on local issues, trends, and opportunities for international buyers to connect with suppliers of U.S. agricultural and food products. Every month we share with you some of the top market insight from the trade servicing reports we receive in order to improve your international export efforts.

Mexico: Glyphosate Ban Postponement Reflects Agri-Food Security Priorities

Mexico’s planned elimination of glyphosate, scheduled to begin on April 1, has been postponed due to the government’s inability to find a suitable substitute. This decision underscores the nation’s commitment to prioritizing agri-food security amid challenges in identifying alternatives to glyphosate. Despite previous efforts to transition away from genetically modified corn and glyphosate-based agrochemicals, the lack of viable substitutes has prompted a delay in the ban’s implementation. The government’s recognition of the importance of ensuring agri-food security highlights the complexity of transitioning to glyphosate-free agriculture while maintaining productivity and sustainability.

Taiwan: Pet Food Market Flourishes Amid Growing Pet Ownership

Taiwan’s pet food market is experiencing robust growth driven by the increasing number of pet cats and dogs, which is expected to surpass 4 million by 2025. With over 7,200 pet-related establishments and an average monthly cost of $160 per pet, the sector’s revenues are projected to reach $8 billion by 2025. The shift towards commercially produced pet food reflects societal changes favoring animals as pets, with more owners opting for high-quality pet food over traditional leftovers. U.S. pet food companies stand to benefit from Taiwan’s growing market, offering opportunities for high-quality products and specialized items for elderly pets.

Germany: Organic Food Market Resilience Offers Potential for American Suppliers

Germany’s organic food sector has rebounded from challenges posed by inflation, demonstrating steady growth and consumer demand for organic products. With over $16.1 billion spent on organic products in 2023, supermarkets and drug stores continue to drive sales in this category. American suppliers can capitalize on the growing interest in organic options among German consumers, targeting both rigorous organic shoppers and those seeking alternatives for everyday staples. By aligning with EU certification standards and focusing on attributes like health, sustainability, and environmental friendliness, U.S. manufacturers can tap into Germany’s thriving organic market.

Malaysia: Retail Rebound Projected Amid Rising Cost of Living

Retail Group Malaysia forecasts a rebound in retail sales for the first quarter of 2024, with an average year-on-year growth of 7.1% expected. Despite this optimistic outlook, challenges such as the rising cost of living and shifts in consumer preferences due to global events pose significant hurdles for the retail industry. F&B operators are particularly affected by higher food prices and operating costs, highlighting the need for strategic adaptation and innovation. Additionally, Malaysia’s experiencing a heatwave, impacting water levels, and raising concerns about water scarcity, further emphasizing the need for sustainable resource management amidst changing climatic conditions.