North America: buyers balancing innovation and tradition

Fiera Milano, Rho
08-11.05.2023

Focus North America

North America: buyers balancing innovation and tradition

In the future, craft beers and beyond meat will shine. Meanwhile, presently, innovation is mainly applied to local products, with an eye on prices.

The North American Food & Beverage market is of great interest to Italian and international operators. Not only because of its large size and the significant spending power of consumers. It is also because it has always been a forerunner of the trends that then take hold on the world markets. So what are the signs coming from this important scenario?

 

As the import-export figures also confirm, alcoholic beverages will be among the protagonists of the coming years. Based on ExportPlanning data for TUTTOFOOD, Italy exports approximately 34 million euro of them to the USA and imports more than 90 million. Prospectively, a segment of beverages expected to be of increasing interest are the so-called “craft beers”.

 

 

Mixing innovation and cost-consciousness

 

Looking even further ahead, more innovative products such as “beyond meat” certainly have strong growth potential. But, in the meantime, products that have a strong link with the territory, preferably offered with innovative forms, are constantly on the increase. However, even these have to contend with international market scenarios that are not easy.

 

Stefano Salvemini, CEO of Vemini Food, which markets Apulian products in particular throughout the USA from New York, commented, “The return to pre-pandemic levels is not so much related to new product availability, but to logistics and price pressures. Sales are stabilising after Covid, but the end consumer is a bit more careful when it comes to buying products that are not cheap. And rising energy costs are also starting to have an impact. For the time being, we are on stand-by, looking ahead to 2023”.

 

Rosario Cammalleri, President of Alfa Food Service (Canada), also confirmed the increase in logistics costs. Dealing with a wide range of products, from deli meats to coffee, he offered insights into some of the commodities; “We are always looking for new products and new opportunities, although at the moment we are seeing a wait-and-see phase in new launches. In North America, the meat market, especially ham, is currently becoming increasingly important. For 2023, I expect great growth in the coffee industry”.

 

Further details on products and trends come from Gessica Guidi, Vice President of Guidi Marcello Ltd. (California), which imports and wholesale Made in Italy food and beverages, “Consumers are continuing to buy, while not looking at prices. We remain loyal to Italian products. In particular, I see good opportunities for non-alcoholic beverages from Italy. North America is ready for new carbonated and non-alcoholic drinks. Even sparkling wine is starting to appear here in America. Italian consumers, on the other hand, are increasingly interested in North American craft beers”.

 

The Vice-President also heralds a new trend: “We will see a decrease in take-away, because people now want to go out more. Cities will include more open spaces for food and beverage, which will regenerate the cities and favour business in general”.

 

A common perspective among buyers is that to really see new trends and new products we will have to wait until 2023: and certainly TUTTOFOOD, at fieramilano from 8 to 11 May 2023, will be an excellent opportunity to explore all the new trends and discover new products.