Why Should US Companies Consider Exporting?

  • Overseas Growth: Exports of consumer food products are growing three times faster than sales here in the US. They have soared in recent years in response to consumers' growing purchasing power and lower trade barriers. US agricultural exports have grown from $30 billion in 1985 to $70.9 billion in 2006 - a 136% increase! This growth is expected to continue, creating real export opportunities for US companies of all sizes.
  • Overseas Potential: 95% of the world's population and two-thirds of total world purchasing power are located outside of the US.
  • International Markets are More Accessible: Over 20 Free Trade Agreements have been created to decrease America's trade deficit. These trade agreements have lowered many trade restrictions for US products, giving US suppliers an unprecedented level of access to many international markets. These reductions have helped all US agricultural exporters, but in many instances have been particularly advantageous for exporters of value-added food and agricultural products.
  • Economic Growth: Consumer preferences, shaped primarily by incomes, changing lifestyles, and evolving cultural preferences, largely determine the items available in grocery stores in different markets. In developing-country markets, higher incomes result in diet upgrades, with increased demand for meats, dairy products, and other higher value food products. These include packaged cereals, pasta, oils, and other items used in meal preparations.
  • US Competitive Advantage: Another contributor to the growth in value-added food exports is US food exporters' competitive advantage in food processing. The US and Western Europe are considered to have the largest amounts of food and manufacturing centers. Many US companies lead the way in adopting new technologies and in meeting the ever-changing consumer demand and trends, making them better able to customize their products for foreign consumers. Many are able to supply the types of food products that are most in demand, including convenience foods like home meal replacement items, private label products, and niche-type products such as organic and functional foods.
  • Small Companies Can Be Successful Exporters: It is a popular misconception that only large companies can succeed overseas. Many small companies have found that their competitive advantage lies in some form of technological or creative advantage. Many have "unique" or "niche-type" products that are always in demand overseas.
  • Export Assistance Is Available: Many companies shy away from exporting because they do not know how or where to get started. Fortunately, help is available. Food Export -Midwest and Food Export - Northeast, State Agricultural Promotion Agencies, and other export providers can offer companies a wide range of export assistance.

What is the Market Access Program?

The Market Access Program (MAP) is a market development program administered by the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service.  MAP creates partnerships between the USDA, State Regional Trade Groups, non-profit agricultural trade associations, agricultural cooperatives, and small businesses.  Each year, MAP helps launch and expand sales of food and agricultural products overseas.

How much does it cost to participate in programs and services offered by Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast?  

Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast provide no-cost or low-cost programs and services to assist Midwestern and Northeastern suppliers.  Prices vary by activity.

How can suppliers obtain more information about the programs and services offered by Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast? 

We can be reached at 312.334.9200 and 215.829.9111, respectively. 


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