From the Field: In-Market Representative Reports – October 2023

October 2023 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.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the food and beverage (F&B) industry, key trends and market shifts are shaping consumer behaviors and business strategies worldwide. This month, let’s delve into the current developments in Vietnam, Germany, and Brazil, highlighting their impact on industry growth, consumer preferences, and emerging opportunities. 

Brazil: Bread, Pasta, and Meat Consumption Insights 

Staple foods like bread and pasta hold a prominent place among the most consumed products in Brazil . Research by the Brazilian Association of Biscuit, Pasta, and Industrialized Bread & Cake Industries (ABIMAPI) indicates that nearly half of Brazilians consume pasta weekly, with noodles prevalent in almost all households. Industrialized bread, a breakfast essential, is a staple in over 94% of Brazilian homes, consumed frequently by over 31% of the population. 

While meat consumption in Brazil faced a decline last year due to price hikes impacting consumer purchasing power, recent data from Horus Intelligence highlights a resurgence in meat consumption. Decreased meat prices, associated with reduced inflationary pressures, have fueled this upward trend, with pork notably making a significant comeback in Brazilian shopping baskets. The demand for high-quality meat remains strong, signaling a lucrative opportunity for US suppliers to cater to upscale consumers in this market. 

Germany: A Decline in Meat Consumption 

Across Europe, particularly in Germany, there is a significant shift in the dietary habits of younger generations, reflecting a consistent decrease in meat consumption over the past decade. This trend is anticipated to continue, posing challenges to the traditionally robust meat market in the EU. While US meat producers are advised to anticipate a drop in demand, an alternative course of action is to focus on specific categories, like the premium segment. Upscale products such as premium beef, or healthier alternatives like turkey bacon, are likely to find steady demand amidst shifting consumer preferences. 

Moreover, the European Union’s recent decision to lower allowable limits for nitrites in foods, mainly used in cheeses and cured meats, necessitates industry adaptation within a two-year transition period. This regulatory change holds significance for Midwest producers of traditional cured meats like bacon, salami, and smoked sausages eyeing the European market.

Vietnam: Embracing Sustainability for Growth 

Vietnam’s F&B sector is a pivotal industry with vast potential for development. Euromonitor’s latest research forecasted an 18% increase in the market value in 2023 compared to the previous year, soaring to about VND 720,300 billion (over $29 million USD). Driven by the dual forces of pandemic upheaval and a growing consumer focus on green and sustainable products, businesses across Vietnam are swiftly pivoting towards sustainability throughout their production processes. This shift includes the adoption of vegan and organic raw materials, sustainable farming practices, waste recycling, plastic reduction, and minimizing packaging, all aimed at curbing food waste and advancing eco-conscious initiatives.  

The F&B industry’s transformation is driven by sustainability, changing consumption patterns, and market regulations. As consumers increasingly prioritize eco-friendly choices, embrace plant-based diets, and redefine their culinary preferences, businesses must adapt and innovate to meet evolving demands. These shifts provide valuable insights for industry players to navigate and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the dynamic F&B landscape.