Some features of this site are not compatible with older versions of Internet Explorer. Upgrade your browser to better experience this site. Some features of this site are not compatible with older versions of iOS. Update your operating system to better experience this site. Some features of this site are not compatible with the Android stock browser. Upgrade to Google Chrome to better experience this site. X

Growing Demand for U.S. Value Added Food Products


Big Picture Report: October 2023
Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, SUSTA

Greetings from Cologne, Germany.As this edition of SUSTA’s October newsletter goes out, I am at the ANUGA trade exhibition with 18 Southern U.S. companies. ANUGA is one of the world's leading trade shows for food and beverages, and the 2023 version is certainly living up to its reputation.

The biennial ANUGA show is one of the anchor events for SUSTA due to its truly global reach.During the 2019 and 2021 ANUGA exhibitions, SUSTA companies reported export product destinations, not just to Germany and Europe, but to Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, and South America as well. Indeed, quality products from the U.S. always stand out to international buyers.

While the 2023 program year is drawing to a close, it’s time to start planning your 2024 activities. Re-certify your MySUSTA account and check the registration deadlines. There are a number of marquee events early in the year. Demand is strong, be ready to take advantage. The Gulfood trade show, for example, is in February. Like ANUGA, it is a major exhibition drawing buyers from numerous countries, especially across the Middle East.

One of the key product categories for SUSTA’s small and mid-size business is sauces, condiments and non-alcoholic beverages. Last year, SUSTA companies netted more than $5.4 million in sales of these products. Looking at official trade data for 2023, exports of sauces and condiments have grown in the first eight months of the year, January through August, by 7.5 percent – and by 13 percent in the Middle East.Total U.S. exports of beverages are up by 8.5 percent so far this year, and 23.7 percent in the Middle East. That’s a good reason to consider Gulfood.

For produce companies, there’s also the opportunity to participate in the industry’s premier global event, the Fruit Logistica exhibition. That show has yielded strong results for SUSTA companies over the years. Again, looking at the trade data, exports of U.S. produce to Europe are up double digits so far this year.

Another key category for companies participating in SUSTA programs is confectionery items; so far this year, total U.S. exports are up 18.5 percent. Likewise, exports of U.S. bakery items are up 5.6 year to date, and distilled spirits exports are up 36.8 percent. There are exhibitions and activities for all these products – and more – lined up. You don’t want to miss out on your opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.

I’m excited and looking forward to next year and hope that you are too!