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Food Show PLUS! at Central America Trade Shows

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Jan 01, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017

Location: Central America

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Food Show PLUS!™ shortens your learning curve at international tradeshows so you are a more prepared and effective exhibitor. Our Food Show PLUS!TM services make exhibiting internationally easy, so you can focus on selling product. All assistance is provided by our In-Market Representatives who are knowledgeable about the country’s food industry.

This assessment covers the Central American countries party to the U.S. Central American - Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, (U.S. - CAFTA-DR) which has been fully entered into force for seven years.  The countries are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.  The Dominican Republic assessment is located in the Caribbean section and its numbers reduced from the figures here.  There is also an assessment for Panama, which now has its own Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) with the U.S. that entered into force in 2012.  Panama’s data has been added into the CAFTA export figures for Central America.

U.S. exports of agricultural products to the Central American Free Trade Agreement countries totaled over US$3.7 billion in 2015, a drop of only 2% in a very difficult year.  Of that amount nearly 40% or nearly US$1.5 billion were of the consumer oriented variety. Central America also imports significant amounts of U.S. processed foods as well.  In 2015 the total was nearly US$1.3 billion, up 2% from the prior year.  The countries imported nearly 99% of the regions total consumer food products.  As the CAFTA-DR continues to develop, and now that the U.S. Panama TPA has made an impact on trade, the forecast is for a steady increase of U.S. exports over the long term. 

Most countries within this region share the following characteristics:  a strong preference for U.S. products; importers like doing business with U.S. exporters because they are viewed as reliable and trustworthy; and the majority of the populations perceive U.S. products as higher quality and safer than local foods and other products from Central America.  In most cases, U.S. products have strong name recognition and set the standard for the competition.  

Food Show PLUS!TM Service Include:

  • Introductions to qualified buyers 
  • Targeted invitations to buyers
  • Market briefing by local USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service
  • Local retail tour
  • On-site show assistance by Food Export's In-Market Representative
  • Post-show lead qualifications

Registration Fee: $350

Food Show PLUS!TM services available at the following tradeshows:

The Food and Drink Trade Show in El Salvador
June 

Panama Food Expo Show
July / August

Feria Alimentaria in Guatemala
September

Top processed food products exported to Central America in 2016 included:

  • Food preparations
  • Chocolate and confectionery
  • Processed/prepared dairy products
  • Processed vegetables and pulses
  • Fats and oils
  • Prepared/preserved meats

Country Profile
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Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

2015 Food Show PLUS!™ at Feria Alimentaria Guatemala
Food Export’s Food Show PLUS!™ services were utilized at the 2015 Feria Alimentaria Show, one of the largest Food Shows in Guatemala and Central America.  On July 13th – 15th, four Midwest and Northeast suppliers took part in the program and were able to take advantage of the following benefits: event planning and market analysis from Food Export’s In-Market Representatives, sharing booth space within the USA Pavilion, participation in a USDA market briefing presentation, interpreters at their booths throughout the show, and sell sheet translation. Three of the participants also took advantage of attending additional one-on-one buyers meetings in El Salvador before the trade show.

Guatemalans consider American food products to be of high quality and safe. Recently, trade data shows that Guatemala is one of the largest markets for US agricultural exports in the Central American region at $937 million in FY2013. More than 10,000 visitors attended the Show and many came from other countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Mexico and Spain. Our participants at the show took advantage of this favorable market situation and about 30 invited buyers visited the booths and made connections with our participants during the event. As a result, about $74,500 in actual sales were reported during the show, one company made a first time export sale, and the other companies found new distributors. The four companies expect a total of $220,000 in projected sales as a result of their participation in Food Show PLUS!TM.

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Read about the success companies have attained utilizing Food Show PLUS!TM.

Branded Programs

Double your international marketing dollars with the Branded Program. You may be eligible for up to 50% reimbursement on exhibition fees, advertising and much more. Learn more

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