Insight yields opportunity in emerging markets - The Packer

Insight yields opportunity in emerging markets

05/24/2013 10:41:00 AM
Richard Owen

Brazilians also tend to have a healthy diet consisting largely of fresh food.

Research on Brazil completed for PMA by Euromonitor International in September found that “buying fresh foods is extremely important to households because this means they can ensure they are eating healthy. Vegetables and fruit are priorities when purchasing fresh food.”

Healthy eating with fruits and vegetables is becoming a priority the world over in response to obesity and diet-related diseases.

Another market research report on China completed for PMA by Thunderbird School of Global Management shows a rising level of disposable income has shifted Chinese food habits toward fast food, putting China at future risk of the same lifestyle-related diseases found globally.

Surfacing in tandem are government-backed public education programs to promote healthy eating habits.

Health care in China is also adding to the spotlight on healthful fruits and vegetables. Health care costs are shifting away from the state toward individuals, placing greater motivation to improve Chinese consumers’ diets.

But along with the many forces driving global consumption of fresh foods, it’s no secret that expansion into international markets comes with its share of challenges.

Regulatory issues and logistical challenges of working with countries lacking sophisticated technology, long lead times for shipping and delivery, overseas certifications and inspections are just a few examples.

Regardless, global expansion is hard to ignore and increasingly becoming important to sustainability in the modern marketplace.

The way forward is with a well-defined strategy based on detailed research that enables the informed development of profitable, global business models. Get an overview of current retail and consumer trends in key regions right for your business.

Educate yourself on permissible imports, food safety regulations and local production and logistics. Build connections to global supply chain partners, government officials and local experts — strategic partnerships that will prove critical to overcoming international challenges, differentiating from competition and opening the door to sales opportunities, talent, innovations and exclusivity.

The benefits of revenue diversification through overseas markets offer a lifeline amid today’s choppy waters of increased competition and economic uncertainty.

Working now to assess whether international markets are right for your products or services can ensure you don’t miss the boat on opportunities of the modern marketplace that can sustain your produce business for the future.

Richard Owen is the senior director of global business development for the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association.

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