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U.S. DEMAND FOR NATURAL AND EXOTIC PRODUCTS CREATES COSTA RICA EXPORT SURGE

Trends Are Key Factors for Greater Food Exports

Jill  Cohen - Essential-Costa-Rica-300x147New York, NY, April 14, 2016 — Boosted by its unrivaled climate for business development, Costa Rica has become one of Central and South America’s export leader — with shipments from the country estimated at $9.7 billion in 2015. And some of Costa Rica’s best customers (40% of its exports) are here in the United States: consumers who cherish the highest quality all-natural food and beverages with exotic and interesting flavors. In 2015, food industry exports from Costa Rica rose to $1.48 billion, up from 2014.
Trends in all-natural products are gaining in importance every year, as European and North American customers demand the absence of pesticides as a significant part in the making of a healthier product. Now, Costa Rican food companies are responding with a major focus on high environmental standards, sustainability and social values to build their export platform — resulting in the majority of Costa Rican food and beverage manufacturers receiving certifications from The Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, Kosher, Global Gap, HAACP and other certifications in compliance with the Global Food Safety Initiative — key credentials prized by U.S. specialty food consumers.

Costa Rica, a region of 19,730 square miles (almost the size of West Virginia and twice the size of New Jersey), now boasts a $10 billion export economy, shipping more than 4,000 products to more than 150 countries worldwide. Of that, $1.5 billion is attributed to 342 distinct food products shipped to 91 countries. Fifteen percent of this food is exported to the U.S. By comparison, in the 1980s, the country concentrated only on exports in two categories: bananas and coffee.

“Costa Rica today is much more than pineapples and bananas. We offer incredible diversity in our foods and beverages that the United States has a growing demand for,” states Trade Promotion Agency of Costa Rica CEO, Pedro Beirute. “With exceptional access to one of the world’s greatest markets (2.4 billion people, more than 65% of worldwide GDP), and 90 per cent of Costa Rica’s export of goods are executed through a group of Free Trade Agreements, we have become one of the most business-friendly economies in the world and proud of our relationship with the United States.”

“We are focused on promoting the exotic and natural flavors of Costa Rican products, supported by the brand ‘Essential Costa Rica’ that shows the values of the country; values that will be demonstrated in every product throughout a very formal evaluation process so every export is approved to assure Innovation, Social Progress, Excellence, Sustainability and Origin. This brand was created in 2013 to capitalize on our commitment to the food export category,” adds Maykool Lopez, the Trade Commissioner & Director of the New York Office of PROCOMER, Costa Rica’s Export Promotion Agency. “One of the main reasons that Costa Rica was labeled the happiest country in the world in the past, according to a global survey, is our food specialties industry.”

Costa Rica’s export industry surge has been, to a great degree, a response to the demand for all-natural products and food trends in other countries, especially North America. Costa Rica’s food industry has been able to respond positively and rapidly to these needs. Products like pineapples, hearts of palm, all-natural snack foods, and hot sauces have become a fast-growing business. In fact, nine of the top 40 food companies in the world, including Kraft, Cargill, Mondelez, Chiquita, and Dole have very large operations in Costa Rica, now making the country the nation’s leading exporter in items such as pineapples for example.
Costa Rica overall is the world’s largest exporter of pineapples and third-largest exporter of bananas, and also the third-largest exporter of hearts of palm, yucca root, yams, taro, chayote and malanga root.

Its worldwide sales of frozen yucca, canned pineapple, hearts of palm and dried fruit snacks have been most notably rising in line with global market specialty and ethnic demand for those foods. But these are not the country’s only food exports. In 2015, Costa Rica’s principal exports were syrup concentrates (20%), fruit juices concentrates (13%), hearts of palm (8%), hot sauces (7%), cookies and bread products (5%), fruit paste and purées (3%), pet food (4%), tropical fruit preserves (2%), and fish preparations (2%).
Similarly, food is hardly Costa Rica’s only export sector. In 2015, the food sector composed 12.5 percent of the country’s exports, and its top 10 export products in 2015 were medical equipment (15.5%), electronic components for microprocessors (15.5%), electric cables (2.3%), electric materials (1.6%), and tires (1.4%).
PROCOMER: The Export Promotion Agency of Costa Rica
PROCOMER is in charge of promoting the exportation of Costa Rican goods and services throughout the world, to assist in the development of Costa Rica and its country brand essential COSTA RICA. The agency was created in 1996 to simplify and facilitate the exportation procedures, generate exportation chains, register exportation statistics of goods and perform market studies. Its mission is to promote commerce and Investment abroad with an eye towards being the strategic benchmark for the private business sector for foreign commerce and investment.
For more information on using the essential COSTA RICA brand, accessing the Costa Rica Food Specialty catalogue or other questions pertaining to Costa Rican products, please contact Maykool Lopez, New York Director for Procomer at 212-967-0051 or email: Newyork@procomer.com.
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U.S. DEMAND FOR NATURAL AND EXOTIC PRODUCTS CREATES COSTA RICA EXPORT SURGE
Trends Are Key Factors for Greater Food Exports

New York, NY, April 14, 2016 — Boosted by its unrivaled climate for business development, Costa Rica has become one of Central and South America’s export leader — with shipments from the country estimated at $9.7 billion in 2015. And some of Costa Rica’s best customers (40% of its exports) are here in the United States: consumers who cherish the highest quality all-natural food and beverages with exotic and interesting flavors. In 2015, food industry exports from Costa Rica rose to $1.48 billion, up from 2014.
Trends in all-natural products are gaining in importance every year, as European and North American customers demand the absence of pesticides as a significant part in the making of a healthier product. Now, Costa Rican food companies are responding with a major focus on high environmental standards, sustainability and social values to build their export platform — resulting in the majority of Costa Rican food and beverage manufacturers receiving certifications from The Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, Kosher, Global Gap, HAACP and other certifications in compliance with the Global Food Safety Initiative — key credentials prized by U.S. specialty food consumers.

Costa Rica, a region of 19,730 square miles (almost the size of West Virginia and twice the size of New Jersey), now boasts a $10 billion export economy, shipping more than 4,000 products to more than 150 countries worldwide. Of that, $1.5 billion is attributed to 342 distinct food products shipped to 91 countries. Fifteen percent of this food is exported to the U.S. By comparison, in the 1980s, the country concentrated only on exports in two categories: bananas and coffee.
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“Costa Rica today is much more than pineapples and bananas. We offer incredible diversity in our foods and beverages that the United States has a growing demand for,” states Trade Promotion Agency of Costa Rica CEO, Pedro Beirute. “With exceptional access to one of the world’s greatest markets (2.4 billion people, more than 65% of worldwide GDP), and 90 per cent of Costa Rica’s export of goods are executed through a group of Free Trade Agreements, we have become one of the most business-friendly economies in the world and proud of our relationship with the United States.”

“We are focused on promoting the exotic and natural flavors of Costa Rican products, supported by the brand ‘Essential Costa Rica’ that shows the values of the country; values that will be demonstrated in every product throughout a very formal evaluation process so every export is approved to assure Innovation, Social Progress, Excellence, Sustainability and Origin. This brand was created in 2013 to capitalize on our commitment to the food export category,” adds Maykool Lopez, the Trade Commissioner & Director of the New York Office of PROCOMER, Costa Rica’s Export Promotion Agency. “One of the main reasons that Costa Rica was labeled the happiest country in the world in the past, according to a global survey, is our food specialties industry.”

Costa Rica’s export industry surge has been, to a great degree, a response to the demand for all-natural products and food trends in other countries, especially North America. Costa Rica’s food industry has been able to respond positively and rapidly to these needs. Products like pineapples, hearts of palm, all-natural snack foods, and hot sauces have become a fast-growing business. In fact, nine of the top 40 food companies in the world, including Kraft, Cargill, Mondelez, Chiquita, and Dole have very large operations in Costa Rica, now making the country the nation’s leading exporter in items such as pineapples for example.
Costa Rica overall is the world’s largest exporter of pineapples and third-largest exporter of bananas, and also the third-largest exporter of hearts of palm, yucca root, yams, taro, chayote and malanga root.

-more-
-3-

Its worldwide sales of frozen yucca, canned pineapple, hearts of palm and dried fruit snacks have been most notably rising in line with global market specialty and ethnic demand for those foods. But these are not the country’s only food exports. In 2015, Costa Rica’s principal exports were syrup concentrates (20%), fruit juices concentrates (13%), hearts of palm (8%), hot sauces (7%), cookies and bread products (5%), fruit paste and purées (3%), pet food (4%), tropical fruit preserves (2%), and fish preparations (2%).
Similarly, food is hardly Costa Rica’s only export sector. In 2015, the food sector composed 12.5 percent of the country’s exports, and its top 10 export products in 2015 were medical equipment (15.5%), electronic components for microprocessors (15.5%), electric cables (2.3%), electric materials (1.6%), and tires (1.4%).
PROCOMER: The Export Promotion Agency of Costa Rica
PROCOMER is in charge of promoting the exportation of Costa Rican goods and services throughout the world, to assist in the development of Costa Rica and its country brand essential COSTA RICA. The agency was created in 1996 to simplify and facilitate the exportation procedures, generate exportation chains, register exportation statistics of goods and perform market studies. Its mission is to promote commerce and Investment abroad with an eye towards being the strategic benchmark for the private business sector for foreign commerce and investment.
For more information on using the essential COSTA RICA brand, accessing the Costa Rica Food Specialty catalogue or other questions pertaining to Costa Rican products, please contact Maykool Lopez, New York Director for Procomer at 212-967-0051 or email: Newyork@procomer.com.
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