USAID-Hub-supported East African companies connected with more than 80 U.S. buyers at the recent 38th Annual Natural Products Expo West. The specialty-food-focused companies estimate that the connections could lead to $1.8 million in potential sales. The Hub's African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade advisor helped the companies link with the visiting buyers and learn from other participating companies and the trades show environment. The participating East African companies now have a better understanding of current market trends and what their competition has to offer.
'Very good experience, a lot of potential customers/contacts. The number of visitors was way more than expected," said Edwige Vololona Raharisoa, CEO, Miezaka.
The Natural Products Expo West is the largest organic, natural food trade show in North America, Anaheim, CA. The 2018 show broke attendance records, with over 80,000 people attending.
The Hub sponsored two booths for nine companies: four companies from Madagascar, one from Tanzania, two from Kenya and two from Uganda. Madagascar also sent a five representatives to support their producers. The companies presented a variety of natural specialty foods, such as spices, dried fruit and soybeans.
The Hub supports East African companies to connect with U.S. buyers as part of its mandated to facilitate a 40 percent increase in exports from the East African region to the U.S. under AGOA.