USDA report cites lack of awareness of the range and value of U.S. product for India exports

Despite decelerated economic growth, demand for food and agricultural products continues to be strong in India. This demand is spurred by the country’s expanding retail and hospitality sectors which are supported by a growing population (with 50 percent below the age of 25), expanding middle and affluent classes, and rapid urbanization. The country is also witnessing a major shift in consumer preferences with consumers opting for more high-value products that ensure healthier lifestyles. Although these trends are favorable, the Indian market is still difficult to navigate with high tariffs, a challenging regulatory environment, and the close proximity of competing foreign suppliers.

Strengths Weaknesses
 Consistent supply, scalability of production
 U.S. products perceived ashigh quality and safe
 Diverse range of food andagricultural products.
  Unwillingness of U.S. exporters to meet Indian importers’ requirements (mixed shipments, changing product specifications to conform to Indian food laws, etc.).  India has preferential trade agreements with competing countries that supply a similar range of products.  Lack of awareness of the range and value of U.S. products.
Opportunities Threats
  Growth potential for imported ingredients and intermediate products.  Aspiration of growing middle class and increased exposure to international products and western lifestyle.  Changing buying habits and a preference to purchase for quality over price.  Emerging consumer trends favor healthier, natural, and organic food options.  Increased presence of international tourists.  More foreign restaurants and brand franchises.  High tariffs, persistent sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements that effectively prohibit or restrict imports, and competition from other countries.  Fluctuating value of the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar.  Stringent food regulations for biotech foods, ingredients and certain food additives.  Competition from countries with geographical proximity and a freight advantage.  Product substitutes and competition from local and international suppliers.  US exporters are not ready for consolidated/ small orders  Labelling requirements.

Almonds: United States with almost 80 percent market share of imported almonds has a supplier advantage. Other nuts: India imports a large variety of other types of tree nuts such as pistachios from Iran, walnuts from Chile, and other competing regions in direct competition to the United States. Lack of awareness and less consumer recognition for tree nuts such as pistachios, high tariff rates for walnuts & almonds and higher prices for pecans are limiting factors. Domestic production of some of the major fruits and nuts is insignificant