Caribbean Basin Exporter Guide
The Caribbean is an excellent market for U.S. suppliers, due in large part to the fact that demand for imported food products is largely inelastic. With an insufficient amount of arable land, scant water resources in some islands, no economies of scale, and a limited food-processing sector, the islands must import the majority of their food needs. There is also strong appeal among the 3.8 million local residents of U.S. products. Moreover, between 6 and 7 million stop-over tourists (over half of which are from the United States) visit the Caribbean annually and help fuel demand for U.S. products in Caribbean food service outlets. Although Caribbean tourism activity slowed in 2009, stop-over tourist arrivals during the first eight months of 2010 posted a healthy 5 percent gain from the same period in 2009.