The US Dry Bean Council’s export strategy looks at the current worldwide market for beans, at the major players in the field, and continues to seek and identify trends that will influence the market over the next five years.
Our objective is to look at the US Dry Bean industry’s place within the international markets as they exist today, and ultimately determine where we should aim to be in the next five years.
Our strategy looks at the constraints to expanded exports and the possible benefits the industry can deliver to its customers via activities carried out under the MAP, FMD and EMP programs. We identify a number of target markets whose needs are most closely matched by the benefits the US dry bean industry can provide.
We look at three different types of target markets in which the USDBC is active or expects to explore. There are developing countries, transitioning (emerging) developing countries and developed countries. Examples of developing countries in our plan include but are not limited Haiti, Guatemala, Angola, Colombia, Honduras, Democratic Republic of Congo, and China. These markets all have very low per capita income levels and often consume beans daily. Consumers in developing markets spend a very high percentage of their incomes on food and usually have very demanding requirements when it comes to type and quality of beans that they consume.
Transitioning developing markets include markets such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Costa Rica, and South Africa. These countries are notable for their efforts to transition from relative poverty and their relatively strong economic growth. These economies are generally experiencing some of the strongest economic growth in the world. However, they still have significant socio-economic problems such as wealth disparity, corruption, crime, etc. These transitioning developing countries often offer some of the greatest future growth opportunities both because of rising incomes and expansion of their food processing sectors. However, these countries are also having major issues with income distribution – with small wealthy class enjoying much of the economic gains. Many of these countries are also notable for changes in dietary habits resulting from increased income levels (increased fast food and processed foods consumption).
Developed countries include markets such as the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Spain. These markets are generally the most mature of the US Dry Bean Council’s markets. Consumers in these developed markets generally have high incomes and consume fewer beans per capita versus developing or transitionally developing countries. Consumption is generally flat and the form of consumption is also generally different with much higher consumption of processed forms of beans (canned beans, dine out options, etc.). Although these markets are mature the consumers in them have relatively high levels of disposable income and are less affected by price swings than in developing countries.
Each target market or regional analysis looks at the strengths and weaknesses of US dry beans and the US dry bean industry in the market, as well as how these strengths and weaknesses should help shape the USDBC’s response to opportunities and threats. Of course, similar types of markets (developing, transitionally developing, developed) often share similar profiles when it comes to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. As a result, we have organized most of our target markets into regions that share common characteristics. So the developed countries of the European Union are grouped together and the developing markets (mostly) of DR-CAFTA are a single regional group. Likewise, the mostly transitionally developing markets of the MERCOSUR and ASEAN are together in regional groupings.
US Dry Bean Industry Objectives:
1. Work to establish a broader and more stable customer base that reflects the growing importance of trading blocks (NAFTA, MERCOSUR, CARICOM, EU);
2. Develop new strategies for declining, mature markets in order to re-capture market share and move people back towards “traditional” foods such as dry beans and find new ways to increase consumption (e.g., value-added foods);
3. Where appropriate, develop exit strategies for declining markets where strategies to recapture market share have not been effective;
4. Utilize new electronic communication technologies in overseas markets to reach our customers more frequently and with greater effectiveness (e.g., electronic newsletters, websites);
5. Explore at least one new market each year with focus on emerging trading blocks to gain new export sales;
6. Expand participation in trade shows and other activities where new product development and use of food ingredients is a major focus;
7. Increase participation in international pulse organization Global Pulse Confederation (formerly known as CICILS/IPTIC), which has grown dramatically as an organization and become more focused on increasing international pulse consumption;
8. Develop strategies that are not focused on just single countries but rather on specific industry sector such as canning, baking, confections (bean paste), etc.
9. Engage actively in promotions to increase global consumption of pulses and thereby increase opportunities for U.S. dry bean exporters;
10. Focus more on countries/regions with the greatest population growth projections that also consume Middle East)