China Competitor Promotional Activities Profile

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Rapid growth during a time of recession has made China a prime target for countries seeking to expand their exports of food and agriculture products through promotional activity. Competitor approaches vary widely, with some countries seeking to promote a wide range of products under a national „brand,‟ while others focus on a key product and promote it aggressively. Industry associations, most with government support, are active in most areas, and their presence is often critical to success. In cases where a country is promoting a broad basket of products but seeing runaway success with one, the critical factor is usually a strong industry association. With the exception of single-product exporters, few countries appear to have a comprehensive strategy for market development in China. Most follow the common pattern of targeting high-end outlets in Beijing/Shanghai/Guangzhou first, then moving on to second tier cities. Korea and Taiwan have made use of cultural links and large expatriate communities in strategies that are novel, but these would be difficult for other countries to replicate.

This report profiles the market development activities of 14 competitors, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Korea (R.O.K), New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, the island of Taiwan, and Thailand (the selection is based not on export value, but on each country‟s role as a competitor to the U.S.). A short analysis of key product sectors follows to put nation-by-nation information into a different context. The sectors profiled are dairy, confectionary & baked goods, fruit, meat & poultry, wine, and seafood. Products for which the United States lacks major competitors with promotional capacity were excluded.

Jess Wilhelm