A Guide to Exporting to the United States

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The US is the world’s largest food market with seemingly endless possibilities. On average, 20% of all foods and beverages are imported, in some categories, imports account for over 50% of the market. But exporting a new product or brand and building a sustainable business can be a challenge. Here are five of the most important issues to consider before you start your search for an importer.

Consider that:

  • The USA alone offers a total of 115 million households with over 320 million consumers eager to try innovative, new products.
  • Over 800,000 places that sell food, relatively low import tariffs, diverse trade channels and always hot emerging culinary trends.
  • Over 700,000 domestic and imported food products currently on the shelves
  • On average 47,000 products sold at an average grocery store

Welcome to the US marketplace! There’s a realistic chance that you can successfully build a sizable business here over the long term.

Or that you will fail. Because in this hyper-competitive marketplace,  your product will have to kick another out the shelves, if you want to succeed, and defend the space against all other competitors.

Our advice before you make your first sales call to importers, wholesaler or retailers: do your homework first on the following five topics:

  1. Investigating the category dynamics and business practices
    1. Three layers of distribution
    2. Finding your real estate
    3. Price it right
  2. Finding and Keeping Your Import Partner
    1. Exclusivity
    2. Value contribution
    3. Just in Time Supply
  3. Determining The Right Investment
    1. The Art of Pricing
    2. The Start-Up Squeeze
    3. Local Management
  4. Complying with a changing regulatory framework
    1. FSMA
    2. Labeling
    3. Claims
  5. Preparing for Success
    1. Selling to large supermarket chains
    2. Forecasting
    3. Promotional Support