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JAMPRO Promotes Jamaican Food in New York

New York, NY, June 27, 2010 --( Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will lead a delegation of local exporters in the food and beverage sector to the 56th Summer International Fancy Food Show, which will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York from Sunday, June 27 through to Tuesday, June 29.

Twelve Jamaican exporters of high quality Brand Jamaica food and drink products will take part in the event, which is produced by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). JAMPRO will be directly representing five companies while coordinating and supporting the participation of the remaining seven that will exhibit in their own booth. Jamaica will be participating under the banner of the Caribbean Pavilion, which is again being sponsored by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export).

Among the Jamaican companies taking part in the event are Local Spice (Complete Seasoning), Jamaican Yaad Style (gourmet all purpose seasoning and sauces), Goodman Enterprises (Better Bite spiced buns), Fiwi Foods (jerk seasoning and honey glaze), Boonoonoonous Foods (seasoned peanuts and cashews), Bankra Buys (Blue Mountain coffee, jerk and pepper sauce), Baking Enterprises (Yummy baked goods), BnRs Holdings (Jamaica Jerk, sauces, seasonings and spring water), Central Food Packers (Sunrite products), Honey Bun (baked goods) and Grace Foods International (porridge, sauces, juices, banana and plantain chips).

The show is one in the series of annual Fancy Food Shows, recognized as North America's premier showcase for specialty-gourmet, ethnic, natural and organic foods, snacks and beverages. It is the largest and the single most important forum for exporters to meet trade buyers in the mainstream New York market and take advantage of the window of opportunity to promote their products. Last year, the show featured over 24,000 buyers and specialty food industry professionals from around the world.

“Approximately 80 per cent of our food and beverage exporters are currently selling into North America, and JAMPRO’s client servicing interactions have revealed that most of our export clients are interested in further penetrating the US $38 billion dollar specialty food market. Over the years, companies that participated in the Fancy Food Show have managed to secure business with new distributors, receive orders and increase their company’s and brand’s presence on the market,” said Berletta Henlon Forrester, Export Promotion Manager at JAMPRO.

Leighton Henry, Managing Director of Jamaican Yaad Style, disclosed his plans to use the event to debut his new barbecue sauce. Henry is hopeful that the Fancy Food Show will open the export door to the Diaspora market in North America and Canada, as well as the Caribbean.

“Our product offers a real taste of Jamaica and we are looking to export in a big way. I am happy that JAMPRO is doing great work by including young manufacturers in such an initiative to market our products and increase exports,” said Henry.

Krystal Chong, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Honey Bun, indicated that she hoped to find distributors for the company’s baked products in the Tri-State area.

“Our Honey Bun sweet bun is mainly targeted for the international Diaspora and other ethnic community. With our Buccaneer Jamaica rum and fruit cakes, we plan to target the international crossover market that wants an authentic, quality taste of Jamaica,” said Chong.

The most successful specialty food exporters in the Caribbean have established a foothold in the US market by participating in the Fancy Food Show, and a survey of regional food exporters by Caribbean Export indicates that the event is the most appropriate vehicle to gain entry into that lucrative market. Berletta Henlon Forrester of JAMPRO noted that a number of other Jamaican products will be displayed at the event under the banner of established distributors in the market. She went on to express optimism about the possible outcome of Jamaica‘s participation in the show.

“The event will present us with the opportunity to raise the awareness of Jamaican products and stimulate consumer demand in the US market. We will be networking with buyers through traditional means and by using new media such as twitter, which is being encouraged by the organisers. We ultimately expect to generate trade leads with good prospects for conversion,” stated Henlon Forrester.

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Mark Thompson

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