Is there still a U.S. market for Latin American Products?

An Expert's View about Business Environment in the United States

Posted on: 12 Apr 2012

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2010 there were 50,477,594 Hispanics in the USA. Fifty million is a huge market.

Roughly 50,000,000 people, at an average of $15,000 each, produce a very large total income. Although much of that goes to pay taxes and buy necessities, a significant amount is available to purchase other goods and services.

The ethnic food market is large, mostly among recent immigrants. According to a report published in 2009, "Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine," 4th Edition, the sale of Hispanic foods and beverages had reached nine billion dollars and was growing rapidly.

In the USA there are nostalgia markets, ethnic markets, a Latino market, a multi-ethnic market and a mass market, each larger than the previous one. It is important to decide which of these your business will aim for and develop a marketing plan according to that decision.

There are many retail chains in the U.S. and several levels at which one one can enter a distribution channel. It is important to decide whether to try to sell to importers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, or final consumers.

Many of the more than 150,000 importers are willing to look at potential new products or suppliers; however, it is difficult to establish communication with them. Normally, one must organize a campaign of written messages and telephone calls. In some cases, as with Walmart for example, one must complete a form online and wait quite a while to be contacted.

All buyers will want to know, in detail, (1) who is the person or company that is contacting them, (2) what is the product or products, with all specifications and (3) what are the prices and terms of sale. Other conditions include (1) where the seller will turn over title to and possession of the product and (2) when and by which method the buyer should make payment.

Typically, businesses start small in foreign trade and then expand, although this is often difficult. If your company has a specialty product such as excellent coffee, roasted and ground, it may be possible to find a customer for just a single box. The transportation cost per unit will be high but if you negotiate a great price, business can be done.

In short, yes, there is still a strong U.S. market for many Latin American products. The most important conditions are that the producer or manufacturer has excellent health and quality controls, professional management, and adequate financing.


Posted: 12 April 2012

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