Central America Marketing Efforts Bear Fruit

October 18, 2017

Our latest analysis shows that U.S. dry bean exports to our key markets in Central America continue on an upward trend. Exports to Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, and Guatemala are all up significantly as of the latest FAS/GATS report. In some cases, the numbers are quite significant. U.S. dry bean export to Panama are up over 60% to 5,000 MT, up 48% in Guatemala to 3,370 MT, and up 57% in El Salvador to 3,289 MT for the period September 2016 to July 2017, compared to the same period last year. The U.S. dry bean industry still faces numerous trade challenges in the region from trade agreement enforcement, TRQ administration, and competition, but the story so far this year, is one of success.

Central America - Bean Stories Todo Con Frijol

A brochure on “Everything with Beans” from our recent events in Nicaragua
(photo courtesy of Simple & Gourmet TV con Hazel Cuadra)

We believe this is due in part, to the very targeted and creative marketing and promotional campaigns that USDBC has been conducting in the region. In addition to hosting a team of major food manufacturers from Central America, USDBC has been holding nutritional and cooking seminars in conjunction with local experts. Over the past week, USDBC has been running different seminars on cooking with bean ingredients throughout the region under the banner, “Todo con Frijol,” or Everything with Beans. While beans are a staple of the Central American diet, U.S. origin beans haven’t always been competitive nor well known. That is all changing. There are new seminars planned for 2018 and a trade mission to the region coming up next month. This is an exciting time for U.S. dry beans in Central America.

Central America Elen with cooks

Cooking demos with beans in Costa Rica with USDBC Americas Representative Ellen Levinson and local bloggers and social media personalities.
(Photo courtesy of Ellen Levinson)

Posted in: Bean Bulletin