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CPG and Foodservice Trends Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis

Every country in the world has been impacted by the recent COVID-19 health crisis, some more than others.  In the U.S. food and beverage industry, we are seeing the following trends: CPG Trends Brand switching from mainstream to value (decreased brand loyalty) Increase in Private Label Cost valued more than convenience Shift from premium toMore Information

UK Food & Beverages in the Era of COVID-19

The following trends are from primary research conducted by AMI’s UK representative, which are consistent with retail and foodservice sales trends in other European markets: UK Retail Sales Boom UK grocery sales +20.6% in March vs. LY The Big 4 supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda & Morrisons – +17.7% combined Discount retail giants Aldi andMore Information

México: Millennial, te gusta comprar marcas premium en el supermercado

With a higher basket totals, a preference for premium brands, and an eye for good value, Mexican Millennials, could be a great opportunity for US brands. La participación de los jóvenes mexicanos en el mercado es muy importante, son el segundo grupo con mayor desembolso en productos de consumo masivo, al gastar 4.0 por cientoMore Information

China’s Cross-Border E-commerce Market Soared to $220B in 2017

With special lower duty rates and import requirements, cross border e-commerce is a great channel for US companies looking to take their first step into China. Chinese consumers are increasingly e-shopping around the world. According to a study released July 31 by marketing and consulting agency Westwin, 67 percent of Chinese e-commerce consumers had aMore Information

Trade pain: Small companies hit by import, export tariffs

Companies big & small, from whiskey to boats, are reassessing and changing their international strategies. We can help. Time and effort have gone down the drain for Steve Gould, who is scrambling to find new customers for his gin, whiskey and other spirits since the United States has taken a tough stance on trade issues.More Information

From Amazon to Alibaba, Grocers' Agony Is Endless

From pure online to hybrid on/offline experiences, China’s e-commerce platforms are shaking up the whole grocery industry! Want to know what Amazon.com Inc. will be doing in physical retail tomorrow? Look at what is happening in China today. If you’d taken this advice, you wouldn’t have been surprised when the behemoth spent $13.7 billion lastMore Information

How Chile Is Building Bridges Of Understanding With Free Trade

Chile’s commitment to free trade includes great opportunities for US Exporters. Integration, not isolation, is the key to sustainable development in a world bound ever closely together by information and transportation networks. Chile is committed to forging regional and international economic cooperation that can raise the standard of living for our own people and withMore Information

Sonae sees Portugal food retail growth among Europe's fastest

As Europe’s economies return to growth, some will shine brighter than others. Portugal’s No. 1 retailer Sonae expects the domestic market to grow at one of the fastest rates in Europe until 2022 and plans to open more local supermarkets and boost its online sales to tap the growth. Read More »

Asia-Pacific leads the way as global duty free sales exceed $68 billion

Duty free is not just for liquor, cigars, and handbags, it can be a great channel for a variety of quality US products. Global duty free and travel retail sales reached $68.6 billion in 2017, according to preliminary figures from Generation Research. The figures were revealed today by TFWA president, Erik Juul-Mortensen, in his welcomeMore Information

Top 10 online stores in Europe

While the buzz has been on e-commerce platforms in China, Europe has a number of homegrown and multinational options to launch on too. Europe is one of the biggest ecommerce markets in the world, together with China and the US. It’s home to major online retailer companies such as Ikea, Zalando and Otto. But whatMore Information

A look at Latin America’s four most powerful beauty markets – Euromonitor

Latin America offers some great opportunities for personal care brands to grow sales! Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile are the most dynamic and robust beauty markets in the Latin America, which is why Cosmetics Design is taking a closer look at the key trends and market data. Read More »

Being on UAE’s supermarket shelves don’t come cheap

Accounting for all the market entry costs is an important part of any new country launch. Getting on a supermarket shelf in the UAE was never easy … these days it’s getting more so. Especially for new brands trying to catch the shopper’s eye. Read More »

Highlights from the 2018 Mid-Year Tmall 6.18 Shopping Festival

618? 11.11? There is a lot of buzz about online sales in China. AMI can help find the way for your US Brand to tap into this channel that works for you. New Retail was front-and-center at Tmall’s annual 6.18 Shopping Festival, as the Alibaba platform looked to showcase the seamless integration of online andMore Information

In Vietnam's nearly untapped market, foreign retailers dream big

With an economy growing at 7% annually, Vietnam’s retails sector is rapidly modernizing and consumers are scouting for premium offerings. Retailers from across Asia are flooding into Vietnam as the country loosens restrictions on foreign companies, racing to bring convenience stores and supermarkets to a market dominated by small business. Read More »

South Africans spent R31k per second in retail stores

A great snapshot of the retail segment in this growing market. South Africa’s retail industry can be divided into five categories: wholesale, retail, motor, food and beverages (restaurants and catering) and accommodation. Read More »

How frozen food is seeing renaissance in Europe

Premiumization, Innovation, and clean labels are driving European consumers to more frozen food options. For years seen as the less glamorous alternative to fresh, frozen food has been making a quiet comeback across Europe. Olly Abotorabi, senior insights manager at IRI International, considers why demand for frozen is hotting up. Read More »

The future of retail market in Nigeria

With the middle class making up 23% of its 170 million population, Nigeria, offers a a great opportunity for the right brands. In spite of its imperfections and newness, retail business had very good showing on entry into Nigeria, most probably because that entry coincided with the emergence (or re-emergence) of the middle class inMore Information

Saudi appetite for organic food said to be growing – survey

Increasing global awareness of the organic difference, is creating greater export sales opportunities to the Middle East. The appetite for organic foods in Saudi Arabia is on an upward trajectory, with a third of consumers (33 percent) purchasing more in the last 12 months compared to the previous year, according to a new survey. ReadMore Information

Wine and dine at the supermarket

Modern grocery chains are taking the customer experience to new heights around the world. Cold Storage at Fusionopolis is a fully self-checkout store that boasts a wide range of ready-to-eat meals, a wine-tasting bar, a dining area and two meeting rooms that customers can book Read More »

Quality trumps price for European consumers

While everyone likes a good deal, product quality is what brings European consumers back for more. Plenty of opportunity for premium US brands! Massive opportunity for retailers to invest in better quality to attract more shoppers, new report concludes. Read More »

Hain Celestial misses targets as it drops smaller products

While domestic sales kept them from achieving their targets, thanks to international sales, Hain Celestial was still able to pull off 7.5% overall growth. It seems that Hain Celestial anticipated a slower quarter, especially in the U.S. After all, the company noted in its earnings report that it expected to see a drop in U.S.More Information

Brazil's home-grown e-commerce players set to take on Amazon

Online or offline, knowing the influential local players can be key your brand’s success in new markets. Claudia Maria de Oliveira is wary of online shopping – but while browsing social media recently, the 49-year-old Brazilian spotted a bargain-priced sandwich press from local retailer Magazine Luiza. She swallowed her doubts and hit the “buy” button.More Information

S. Korea's retail sales up 14 pct in Feb. on solid online, offline sales

With 16.9% growth, Korean online sales channels offer some nice opportunities for US brand owners looking to get into export sales. Retail sales in South Korea jumped 14 percent in February compared with a year ago on the back of upbeat sales at both online and brick-and-mortar stores, government data showed Thursday. Read More »

uropean grocery retail market to reach €2,289bn by 2022, IGD reports

European shoppers are looking for innovative items too and demand is growing! The European grocery retail market will add €377.6 billion in sales to reach €2,289 billion by 2022, with growth in the region driven by the dynamic economies of Central and Eastern Europe, according to new forecasts from international grocery research organisation, IGD. TheMore Information

Online grocers in the UAE: 11 brands to know

Online channels can be a great way for specialty brands to get started in new markets. Here’s a peek at some the more focused options in the UAE. No more crowded checkout lines. No screaming children to contend with. No need to race home to get the ice-cream into the freezer before it melts. TheMore Information

Why Japan’s retailers are courting older shoppers

Japanese retailers are changing to meet their customers’ needs and US better for you products and healthy foods will definitely be in demand. For Japan’s older consumers, a trip to the shops is about much more than buying goods as the country’s retailers rethink how they’re catering for this growing demographic. Read More »

The next chapter of modern grocery store

Modern Retail, including supermarkets and convenience stores, in Southeast Asia continues to experience stellar growth. Does your company have a strategy to tap in? Modern grocery retailers in Thailand are still growing but the sign of an impending slowdown is becoming more evident through increased competition. This trend can be observed in the overall pictureMore Information

5 points from U.S.-Canada export report

Thanks in part to NAFTA, Canada is the “Number One Market for U.S. Agricultural Exports” and represents 25% of all consumer oriented ag. exports from the US. Total U.S. export value to Canada surpassed $20 billion in 2017, making Canada the leading destination for U.S. food and agricultural exports.Here are five points from the “Canada:More Information

Why Asia is the latest front in the craft beer battle?

We’re off to Asia with beer commentator Stephen Beaumont this month. Vietnam, to be specific, with the country serving as an example of how the continent is becoming the next battleground for beer’s higher-end players. Read More »

Premium promise? Interest is cross-generational in Latin America, says Nielsen

With 55% of Latin American consumers willing to pay a premium for high-quality, safe food, there is plenty of opportunity for US Brands! Latin American consumers across all demographics are interested in spending money on premium grocery products, particularly dairy, presenting strong opportunities for industry, according to Nielsen. Read More »

Bahrain retail market growing at 11pc per year

For US companies looking for additional growth, Bahrain and other Middle East markets make for great opportunities. Bahrain’s retail sector has been growing steadily over the past decade and remains one of the most dynamic sectors in the Kingdom, with an annual growth rate of 13 per cent, according to a new study by KPMG.More Information

Africa: the next ecommerce revolution

With the world’s highest mobile money usage rates and consumer spending expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2020, the African continent could be an important part of your global e-commerce strategy. Today, Africa’s population is estimated at 1.2 billion people (15% of the world’s total). By 2050, the population of 26 out of 54 countriesMore Information

The Conversation: Why Canada is wary of online grocery shopping

Even close neighbors like the US and Canada can have big differences in consumer preferences. Canadian grocery giant Loblaw recently announced it’s closing some stores and introducing home delivery of groceries in the Toronto market, while Walmart says it’s expanding its home delivery service. While it may feel that the Canadian market is late toMore Information

Bloomberg: Why Amazon Orders in Mexico Need Cash and the Corner Store

In Mexico, it turns out the key to online shopping is offline payments. In a nation where just about everyone prefers to pay cash, Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB are pushing a hybrid payment system to encourage more shoppers to go online. Amazon is letting people pay for goods ordered on its website at the cornerMore Information

FoodDive: 3 ways natural ingredients clean up food labels

As consumer rejection of artificial ingredients becomes more widespread, food and beverage manufacturers are searching for efficient, inexpensive ways to clean up their labels. But making the switch is easier said than done, especially since manufacturers don’t want to compromise on the taste, appearance and mouthfeel of a brand’s original product. This challenge is compoundedMore Information

Retail Wire: U.S. retailers in dire need of growth look to the China market

In 2017, a growing number of Western retailers decided to go where they can grow. Toys “R” Us, Starbucks and now Walgreens are among retailers expanding their brick-and-mortar and e-commerce presence in China’s booming retail market. As Western retail markets contract due to bankruptcies, store closures and acquisitions, retailers are increasingly looking beyond their domesticMore Information

Khaleej Times: International exporters look for opportunities in the UAE

Consumers in the UAE can look forward to a greater variety of foodstuffs and ingredients, as international players such as the EU increasingly look to the UAE for exporting their products, experts have said. Speaking to Khaleej Times at the Sial Middle East exhibition in an exclusive interview, Ambassador Patrizio Fondi, head of the EUMore Information

Los Angeles Time: China cuts import tariffs on some consumer goods

China announced tariff cuts Friday on consumer goods including avocados, mineral water and baby carriages in a new effort to spur economic growth driven by domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade and investment. Beijing faces pressure from the United States, Europe and other trading partners for better access to its growing market. But theMore Information

2017 Food Trends & Insights: ANUGA

The ANUGA food and beverage show in Germany this month highlighted several emerging trends in the global food and beverage industry. Some of the same trends which appeared recently in the U.S. are now beginning to flourish in Western Europe. Others have originated in Europe, Asia or the Middle East and are making their wayMore Information

This is a sad day for global entrepreneurs.

By notice dated July 11, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has delayed the effective date of the International Entrepreneur Rule to March 14, 2018, and will seek comments on whether or not to rescind the rule altogether. The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), which was issued in the waning days of the Obama PresidencyMore Information

5 Steps to Developing an International Strategic Plan for Your Food Business

Companies we partner with are highly aware of the fact that international markets can provide their food brands with steady growth potential. However, the challenge is, how do companies unlock that growth potential without experiencing problems that can cost a lot of time and money? Often times we see food businesses begin exporting by accident.More Information

Entering a New Foreign Market is not a Four Letter Word

It’s normal to have hesitations when determining whether or not to export your food products. In fact, we would be slightly worried if companies had no concerns and proceeded to make the leap of entering into a new market without meticulous planning or research. Unfortunately, the more common reality is that we see companies loseMore Information

The Rise of China's Middle Class & Its Impact on U.S. Food & Beverage Suppliers

The Asia-Pacific region will account for two-thirds of the world’s middle class by 2030.  Chinese will be the majority of this massive consumption.  Today China’s urban middle-class population alone, if considered as a country, is larger than the total U.S. population.  Rapid economic growth and a huge migration to urban centers is creating a middle-classMore Information

U.S. Processed Food Exports: Growth & Future Outlook

U.S. Processed Food Historical Export Growth Processed food exports set another record in 2014 with a 2% growth rate and sales exceeding $46 billion.[1] It was the 5th straight year of record growth.  Some food categories grew very rapidly, such as prepared dairy products at 232% growth.[2]  Not only the processed food industry, but alsoMore Information

Peter Guyer's Top Tips for Successfully Exporting your Product

Peter Guyer was recently interviewed by Anderson Partners Advertising where he provided 7 tips for successful food product exporting: Comply with packaging regulations: Research the country’s packaging requirements that you are targeting. Write ingredients in the appropriate foreign language. Comply with import regulations: Make sure there are no ingredients that are prohibited—a lot of preservativesMore Information

AMI Profiled in Northwest Gold Coast

AMI was recently profiled in Northwest Gold Coast: Located on the sixth floor of the venerable Fourth Avenue Building in Seattle’s historic business district is a high energy, contemporary office that is home to a local small business that helps other area small businesses succeed in international markets. Athena Marketing International (AMI) is a tenMore Information

AMI President to Speak at Natural Products Consulting Seminar

Peter Guyer will present “How to Successfully Develop and Execute an Export Sales Program” at the Natural Food Products Seminar in San Francisco May 21-22: http://www.naturalconsulting.com/seminars/sales-seminar-networking-event/

AMI at HOFEX

Erin Smith of AMI (center) promoted Oregon Fruit Products Company, an AMI branded client, at the Hotel & Food Exhibition (HOFEX) which started today in Hong Kong. HOFEX is one of the world's largest trade shows for the food and hospitality industry. This year about 35,000 food and beverage industry professionals from 85 countries areMore Information

Singapore: Southeast Asia's Cornucopia of Import Foods

Singapore has long been a frontrunner in retail trends and for good reason. As a relatively open port with 99% of imports entering duty-free1, the “Gateway to Southeast Asia” has been able to enjoy a host of innovative products from around the world. This demand is driven mainly by an affluent domestic population with additionalMore Information

US Fast-food Brands Satisfy Hunger in Arabian Gulf

What started with the influx of foreign workers and now the expansion of the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf has launched several western niche fast-food brands. Franchises such as Shake Shack from New York City, South St. Burger from Canada, Denver’s Smashburger and New Zealand’s Burgerfuel are among the few new restaurants that are seenMore Information

World Leaders Predict Africa as Key Growth Region

More than 2500 of world's thought leaders are currently in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland for the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. Influential members of the global community are congregated there to present and discuss the top issues currently impacting the world's economy under the theme “Resilient Dynamism”- from how Europe can rebuild its competitivenessMore Information

India: The World's Largest Democracy getting “Organized”

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India represents the largest democracy in the world, and one of the biggest emerging markets. Despite the short-term decreasing growth rates that India and the other BRIC countries (Brazil-Russia-China) experienced in 2011-2012, India's medium-term growth outlook is positive due to a young population, healthy savings and investment rates,More Information

A New Year of Global Opportunity

Now that we have wrapped up 2012 and embarked on yet another year, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the year's events and achievements. The last twelve months were full of newsworthy events in the United States and around the world, but because the media seems to prefer coverage of tragedy and devastation,More Information

A Low Risk Investment in a High Growth Market

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Like the rest of the Persian Gulf region, Saudi Arabia saw an explosion in consumer spending over the past decade due to the bourgeoning global energy demand. Per capita income is about US$15,000. GDP has grown a robust 16.9% in the past year and is expected to grow 8.8% next year. NotMore Information

Food for Thought: The Middle East

On a current swing through the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, I am witnessing strong growth in the retail and foodservice channels in the food & beverage industry. Large retailers are interested in listing unique, innovative products from the USA, and fast-food chains, bakeries and coffee shop chains are expanding aggressively and competingMore Information

What the Arab Spring Needs to Blossom

Manama, Bahrain: Being an American business person in the Middle East today, one realizes a striking dichotomy. While foreign diplomats shuttle between Middle East capitals trying fervently to prevent further war and bloodshed, thousands more refugees are forced to leave their homelands due to senseless fighting, and CNN continues to debate the possibility of aMore Information

The World's Food & Beverage Buyers are in Paris

Despite a slowdown in Europe, food and beverage buyers are enthusiastically seeking innovative products. U.S. brands with unique points of differentiation are entering new markets successfully with eager European retailers and distribution partners. Many of these European buyers are attending SIAL Paris this week where they hope to meet with suppliers who can provide theseMore Information

Australia: A Strong Export Market for U.S. Food & Beverage Manufacturers

Australia has one of the world’s strongest developed economies, with a 2011 GDP of US$926.2 billion and expected continuing growth. Similar to the U.S. and Western Europe, GDP derives mainly from services (71.3%), followed by industrial (24.9%). It has a small but powerful agricultural and food processing sector (3.8%) which competes with U.S. food andMore Information

The Crisis in Europe: Its effect on U.S. Food & Beverage Exporters

The financial crisis which has affected Europe for several months appears to be deteriorating. U.S. companies which have profited in Europe are facing declining sales and profits, slack consumer demand, and delays on Accounts Receivables. American food and beverage companies are uncertain about their future business prospects in Europe. This article will attempt to provideMore Information

Athena Marketing International (AMI) Opens Representative Office In China

Athena Marketing International (AMI), a Seattle-based export marketing and consulting firm specializing in global market entry and international business development of U.S.-based food and beverage brands, has signed a representation agreement with R-J International in China. With the opening of this sales office in China, AMI will now have two international sales offices, having hadMore Information

Middle East “Hot” for U.S. Food & Beverages

“Packaged food is slowly eating away at fresh food across the Middle East,” said Lee Linthicum, head of global food research at Euromonitor. “People have been eating fresh and unprocessed food in the region for years; it’s now that there’s a shift from unprocessed to processed.” For better or worse, Middle East consumers are eatingMore Information

The Gulfood trade show in Dubai

The Gulfood trade show, currently occurring in Dubai, is billed as the world's largest annual food show (http://www.gulfood.com). Sales of packaged processed foods in the Middle East will increase 11% this year. “Packaged food is slowly eating away at fresh food across the Middle East,” said Lee Linthicum, head of global food research at Euromonitor.More Information

AMI Facilitates Distribution Expansion for U.S. Beverage Marketer in China

Athena Marketing International (AMI), Seattle-based consulting firm specializing in global market entry and international business development, was instrumental in establishing a multi-million dollar distribution agreement between a U.S. beverage manufacturer and Hiang Kie Coffee Group Limited, a leading coffee and specialty beverage distributor in China. “With the Chinese penchant for quality food and beverages, risingMore Information

China — Critical to U.S. Company’s Growth Strategy

U.S. companies seeking growth and profitability should consider developing a strategic plan to enter and/or sell more of their products in China. No other market in the world has the size, breadth and growth rates as China. On a recent trip to China, I was impressed not only with the massive consumption of imported foodMore Information

American Indian Foods Keynote

Peter Guyer was a keynote speaker at the Intertribal Agricultural Council's Export Seminar in Las Vegas December 7-8, 2011. The American Indian Foods (AIF) program is supported by the USDA and assists Native American Indians export food and agricultural products worldwide: http://www.indianaglink.com/

DOING BUSINESS IN ASIA: Rising exports show demand

From the Pudget Sound Business Journal: It may surprise you to know what Washington state's biggest export to China is these days. Airplanes? Apples? Software? Wine? Guess again. The biggest export in volume terms is the oldest and most low-tech farm product imaginable: high-quality hay for dairy cows. The reason — rising incomes that makeMore Information

Europe — Down, But Not Out

Listening to the media these days, we are lead to believe that Western Europe is about to sink into the Atlantic Ocean. Doom and gloom surrounding the European debt crisis, downgraded credit ratings, austerity measures, public strikes and riots, banking failures, shrinking economies, sensationalized photos and consumer malaise combine to make one feel that theMore Information

AMI at ANUGA in Cologne, Germany

AMI's Sharon Sappington promotes a client's product line at the ANUGA show in Cologne, Germany. ANUGA is the world's largest trade event for the global food and beverage industry: http://www.anuga.com/en/anuga/home/index.php.  

Brazil — An Emerging Market Worth Considering

Brazil is the world’s 7th largest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It has a free-market system and the 2nd largest economy in the Western Hemisphere. Brazil is one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world, with a GDP growth rate in 2010 of 7.5%. Finally, Brazil is expected to become oneMore Information

"Reaching Out" Seattle Business Magazine

While Boeing, Amazon and Microsoft are the engines running Washington's economy, small and medium-sized enterprises such as Hannah's eight-person food company are providing the fuel. More than 90 percent of Washington's 8,500 companies that export products worldwide are businesses with fewer than 500 employees. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses generated one-fifth of Washington's $46.6More Information

Hotel & Food Expo (HOFEX), Hong Kong

AMI participated in the Hotel & Food Expo (HOFEX) in Hong Kong May 11-14. The growth in the Greater China region and SouthEast Asia is phenomenal. The dynamic economy, powered by young, energetic and intelligent human capital, is propelling the region to global powerhouse status. One can literally can witness the transition of power fromMore Information

AMI Announces Export Sales Logistics Service

AMI is expanding it's international business development services to include customized professional supply chain management to our clients. With our extensive experience, we will leverage: 10,000 foreign importer, distributor and retailer relationships Global reach: Asia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East / Africa, Latin America Partnership with a supply chain industry leader AMI will help exploit opportunities, minimizeMore Information

Seoul Food & Hotel Show 2011

AMI exhibited at the Seoul Food & Hotel exhibition in Korea last week. The show was well attended by a broad spectrum of food and beverage industry professionals in retail, catering and industrial sales channels. With the Korea — US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) nearly finalized, AMI’s client found a very positive response to theirMore Information

AMI Attends Asia Conference

Peter Guyer, President of AMI, is attending the Asia Pacific Business Outlook Conference in Los Angeles, CA. The conference is attended by leading global business executives, politicians, economists and academics. The focus of the Conference is the Asia-Pacific region and it's future. Gary Locke, U.S. Commerce Secretary, is today's keynote speaker. http://www.apboconference.com/ AMI is atMore Information

The Resilience of Middle East Importers

AMI promoted its clients products at the Gulfood Show in Dubai the past 4 days. The show is now the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show. Not only was it an excellent show from a business standpoint, but also it demonstrated the unique resilience and fortitude of Middle East food and beverage importers,More Information

Revolution in the Middle East & Africa!

What it Means for U.S. Exporters U.S. exports of processed food & beverages increased 17% in 2010 to US$56.2 billion. U.S. exports of ALL goods rose 21% to $1.28 trillion, and the U.S. surpassed Germany as the world’s #2 exporter behind China. Despite the chronic U.S. unemployment rate, manufacturing jobs in our country grew 0.9%More Information

Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Will We “Walk the Talk”?

After campaigning in 2008 against the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (known as the KORUS agreement), President Obama has now discovered it’s true merits. Despite languishing in the White House since 2007, the Administration has concluded its negotiations with South Korea and the agreement will become law if ratified by Congress. KORUS is the largest FTAMore Information

Free Trade: A Call to Action

We focus on business and rarely tread into politics. However, given the current sentiment in Washington D.C. and global economic realities, we must speak out on international trade policy. I am terrified with the current anti-protectionist attitude among U.S. lawmakers and their openly hostile attitude to opening new international markets for the free movement ofMore Information

Japan – Why is Ginza so Quiet?

On a recent trip to Tokyo, I was surprised at the lack of traffic and emptiness of Ginza, one of Tokyo’s primary retail and entertainment districts. Ginza has always been at the forefront of fashion, economy, and culture in Tokyo. It is a place where the traditional meets the modern, and a melting pot ofMore Information

The Demise of the Euro? How U.S. Exporters Can Succeed in Europe

Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the European Central Bank (ECB), yesterday sought to reassure markets that despite a sharp fall, the Euro was a credible currency and inflation would remain under control. Markets have been selling the Euro on concern that Euro zone austerity measures will damage economic growth in the 16-country currency area. The austerityMore Information

Asian Consumer Trends

Malaysia is often overlooked by exporters for the bigger markets in Asia. Yet despite its small population, Malaysia has a surprisingly robust economy with a strong consumer base. The global economic crisis has meant that many Malaysian companies have re-evaluated their business models, focusing on domestic consumption rather than exporting. New trends are developing allMore Information

AMI Opens Asia Representative Office

Athena Marketing International (AMI) has opened a representative office in Tokyo, Japan. The office will serve all of AMI’s business throughout Asia. The main objective is to develop new Asian distributor and retailer customers for AMI current clients. The office will act as key account manager for existing AMI importers and distributors, as well asMore Information

Clouds Over Thailand – A Political Commentary

Athena Marketing International (AMI) recently traveled to S.E. Asia. We spoke with several individuals from Thailand and throughout the region. What is happening now in Thailand is unprecedented, and will have lasting repercussions for U.S. exporters. Former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in September 2006 after nearly sixMore Information

S.E. Asia: Huge Opportunity for U.S. Exporters

SINGAPORE With a population of only 4.7 million people, Singapore is not a large market. However, with one of the highest per capita incomes, 2010 first quarter growth of 32%, duty free entry for most products, and very transparent import requirements, Singapore is an excellent entry into the fast-growing Southeast Asia region. With people overMore Information

The Australia Market for U.S. Food & Beverage Products

The population of Australia, with 22 million people, is small compared to the U.S. and other Asian markets. With strict quarantine regulations making some products very difficult to access the market, Australia may appear be more trouble than it is worth. However, with a similar taste profile, common language, growing diversity and Free Trade AgreementMore Information

Potential Refunds on Customs Duties Available to U.S. Manufacturers

Do your products contain imported sugar, raw sugar or flax seeds? Do you currently export finished or manufactured products containing these ingredients? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, you may be eligible for Duty Drawback. The Duty Drawback program was initially established in 1979 by the first tariff act of the UnitedMore Information

Obama's National Export Initiative – Helpful or Hindrance?

The Obama Administration has now turned its focus from health care to job creation. On March 11 the Executive Order – National Export Initiative (NEI) was signed by Barak Obama to ensure “that U.S. businesses can actively participate in international markets by increasing their exports of goods, services, and agricultural products.” The goal is toMore Information

Have You Considered Exporting to the Persian Gulf?

For US food and beverage manufacturers intent on exporting their products, identifying markets that are a good fit for their products can be a challenge. With the U.S. domestic economy just starting to come out of recession and many international markets still sluggish, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) might provide the rightMore Information

The Future of Europe: What U.S. Food & Beverage Exporters Need to Know

The combined European Union (EU) is the largest economic bloc on the planet, with 491 million consumers. It should be a major market for U.S. food and beverage exporters now and in the near future, right? However, we should analyze critically this assumption given the prevailing issues facing the EU today. The pressure for fiscalMore Information

U.A.E. Promises Big Wins for U.S. Food and Beverage Companies in 2010

AMI returns to Seattle this week after 4 days of exhibiting at the Gulfood 2010 trade show in Dubai, U.A.E.. Despite major economic obstacles currently faced by the majority of the world, the U.A.E.’s economy is strong and growing. Food and beverage products will continue to be one of the country’s largest imports. With aMore Information

European Union GMO Regulations

U.S. food and beverage manufacturers can experience costly and delayed customs clearance and unsuccessful export attempts to the European Union (EU) if they are unfamiliar with genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations in the EU. The EU established Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed to ensure that the development of modern biotechnology, specificallyMore Information

Gulfood trade show, Dubai U.A.E. – Bigger, Better, Business

(DUBAI, U.A.E.) – The largest food and beverage trade show in the Middle East, Gulfood, gives exhibitors from all reaches of the world the opportunity to showcase their products, and meet one-on-one with potential customers from all over the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. AMI is exhibiting 2 of our clients this year, BigMore Information

AMI Promotes Guittard Chocolate in Europe

(COLOGNE, GERMANY) – 2010 marked the 40th year for the biggest and most important confectionery, sweets and biscuits trade show in the world – ISM is held every year in Cologne, Germany and spans 4 full days (www.ism-cologne.com). This year the fair housed over 1,600 exhibitors from all over the world and attracted more thanMore Information

Greece's Revised Growth and Stability Program – Approved!

(ATHENS, GREECE) – The European Central Bank recently approved Greece’s revised Growth and Stability Program. It stated that it is necessary for Athens to achieve its target of slashing the country’s fiscal deficit (now over 12% of GDP) by the end of this year. In the meantime, the European Commission on Wednesday adopted Greece’s fiscalMore Information

DAVOS Forum – World Leaders Cautiously Optimistic About Global Economy

(PARIS, FRANCE) – Nearly 3,000 world leaders, including public and private officials, politicians and business executives, have gathered in Davos, Switzerland this week to discuss global issues pertaining to trade, finance, aid to the developing markets, employment and economic growth (or lack thereof). The main topics of discussion surrounded how countries could ensure sustainable economicMore Information

Welcome to AMI Global Bite

Welcome to AMI’s new blog, AMI Global Bite. Our objective is to impart to our readers nuggets of information about the global food and beverage industry, and offer tips on how F&B companies can grow their international sales. We intend it to be an interactive journey, and that our readers will participate in some ofMore Information