A taste of Lebanese SMEs in the US market

On 2 December 2021, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), under its Productive Sectors Development Programme (PSDP) in Lebanon, supported participation of 31 Lebanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the “Taste of Lebanon Food and Beverage Showcase”, organized by the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington DC, the United States of America, in partnership with Fair Trade Lebanon, Berytech, and the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI).

The event aimed to promote Lebanese food and beverage products to a large business community (buyers, importers and distributers) in the USA, and to connect SMEs with export intermediaries acting as brokers in order to assess the potential and readiness of Lebanese products to enter the US market. Accordingly, the SMEs were supported with one-on-one meeting with the brokers, who provided guidance on the improvements required in terms of product specifications, design, packaging, labelling, pricing, certifications and marketing materials.

Two of the participating SMEs received requests from importers for product samples shortly after the event, showing that there is a great potential in the mainstream food markets, as well as the gourmet/specialty and gift markets, for a number of Lebanese companies.

The PSDP will continue to support Lebanese SMEs entering the US market, and the brokers will provide additional support to bridge the gap between Lebanese companies and buyers in the US. Due to the complexity of the US market, tailored road maps and coaching will be designed to further assist SMEs to facilitate an entry into the US market based on the needs of the individual company.

Whilst the financial, economic and health crises have induced unprecedented challenges to local businesses in the productive sectors in Lebanon, the PSDP aims to create opportunities for its export potential beneficiaries to expand worldwide, and thus helping the companies maintain their business.

For further information contact Kjell Sundin (K.Sundin [at] unido.org (K[dot]Sundin[at]unido[dot]org))