18 February 2023, US: Regardless of where you live or what language you speak, treating that special someone in your life to delicious food is a universal act of love. If you are looking for ideas on how to show your love this Valentine’s Day, look no further. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is skilled and experienced at playing cupid.
Our dedicated team of food matchmakers promote love for U.S. foods and ingredients 365 days of the year in nearly 100 offices covering approximately 180 countries. From South America to Europe and Asia, they play matchmakers by helping foreign buyers, importers, and shoppers fall in love with high-quality U.S. foods and ingredients. Their passionate work helps keep the heartbeat of the U.S. economy pumping with billions of dollars in U.S. agricultural exports each year.
In 2022, these delicious and often sweet and decadent U.S. exports included:
- $255.6 million in ice cream
- $707.3 million in confectionery (candy) products
- $874.8 million in sweet bakery products and mixes
- $1.9 billion in chocolate and cocoa products
- $1.5 billion in wine and related products
Just like the centuries-old saying, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. FAS is passionate about its love of U.S. foods and ingredients and spreading that love to consumers across the globe. Here’s a closer look at a few of the places where cupid’s arrow struck and made matches in foodie heaven thanks to the help of FAS.
At the USDA-endorsed trade show ANUFOOD Brazil, FAS played matchmaker for companies selling U.S. candies and wine. Buyers puckered up for American candy company Kizandy, the creator of innovative candies, mints, and cookies. Following the trade show, Kizandy products can now be found on store shelves in Brazil, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Also, at ANUFOOD Brazil, USDA hosted a U.S. wine tasting event to match exporters with buyers, distributors, and retailers in the region. The event left attendees with an appreciation and love for high-quality and unique U.S. wines.
– Nicolas Rubio, Director, USDA Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Chinese consumers had the opportunity to experience the sweetness of U.S.-made Jelly Belly candy during Hilton Beijing’s Annual Wine and Food Experience. The FAS ATO in Beijing partnered with the hotel to organize the event, which introduced customers to high-quality U.S. products including candies, cheese, beer, and wine. The event attracted nearly 1,300 foreign buyers who had the opportunity to fall in love with new and delicious U.S. food and beverages.
– Lashonda McLeod Harper, Director, USDA ATO in Beijing, China
The ISM Trade Fair for Sweets and Snacks in Cologne, Germany, offered up a plethora of sweet treats for the 15,000 visitors who attended the show from 96 countries. Finding treats and sweets for your sweetheart was not a problem in the U.S. Pavilion, hosted by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), where 30 exhibitors offered U.S. candies and confectioneries to the delights of buyers from across the globe. Dusseldorf Consul General Pauline Kao even stopped by to check out the many varieties and flavors of American candies. At the conclusion of the show, the U.S. Consulate in Dusseldforf partnered with NCA to donate the remaining U.S. candies to local charities – a true act of sweetness!
– Kirsten Luxbacher, Agricultural Attaché, U.S. Embassy Berlin (Covering Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia)
FAS Berlin also hit the international “date” scene at Fruit Logistica Berlin! Staff from Berlin and Washington, D.C., promoted delicious organic Medjool dates from California at the event, which is one of the world’s largest fresh produce shows. The show attracted 40,700 visitors from more than 130 countries and the FAS team played matchmaker connecting foreign buyers with U.S. date exporters. Medjool dates are known for their delicious and indulgent sweetness and fudge-like texture. Are you ready to date?
– Hanna Khan, Marketing Specialist, FAS Berlin
When you are halfway around the world, it can be hard to find authentic American chocolate chip cookies and New York style cheesecake that will make you smile and make your heart sing. So, the USDA ATO in Osaka paired up with U.S. bakers and Japanese importers to bring these delicious U.S. sweets to local consumers. At the FOODEX Kansai trade show, ATO Osaka showcased U.S. brownies, cookies, and cheesecakes to 4,000 Japanese buyers to help satisfy their sweet tooths. ATO Osaka also offered the products at a regional food festival attended by 20,000 Japanese consumers. As an extra special indulgent twist, the cheesecakes were deep-fried and smothered in whipped cream and the chocolate chip cookies were served sandwich-style as smores. Yum!
– Alex Blamberg, Director, USDA ATO, Osaka-Kobe, Japan
An evening out, whether for two or for a group, is never complete without dessert! That’s why U.S. Consul General Erin Nickerson in Krakow, Poland served delicious, mouthwatering desserts at an event she hosted for U.S. Pavilion exhibitors and key decision makers from Southern Poland’s hotel, restaurant, and institutional sector at HORECA Krakow. Consul General Nickerson introduced local foodies, influencers, and buyers to the tasty goodness of mini toasts with peanut butter fluff and homemade strawberry-lemon jam and brownies with orange gel, all made with U.S. ingredients.
– Alicia Hernandez, Regional Agricultural Counselor, U.S. Embassy Warsaw (covering Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania)
FAS Bucharest put an extra special and sweet twist on promoting U.S. foods and ingredients by hosting DelicioUS Camp, a cooking camp under the stars. Local food bloggers, influencers, and chefs gathered for 4 days to camp, cook, and introduce their senses to the amazing smells and tastes of high-quality U.S. ingredients and foods. Falling in love with U.S. food ingredients under the stars inspired the foodies to create an indulgent recipe for U.S. cinnamon rolls with pecans. The recipe was shared online and downloaded by thousands in just the first week. The recipe was a labor of love and has become one of the area’s most beloved desserts made with the finest U.S. ingredients.
– Andra Nistor, Marketing Coordinator, U.S. Embassy, Bucharest, Romania
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, sometimes that special someone you celebrate is your closest four-legged friend. The USDA ATO in Taipei put a twist on their local Valentine’s Day promotion by celebrating Pet Lover’s Day. ATO Taipei collaborated with Taiwan’s largest pet store chain to promote more than 100 “sweets and treats” pet food products from 13 U.S. brands. The U.S. pet food promotion in Taiwan generated nearly $600,000 in sales and demonstrated the desire and love for high-quality U.S. pet foods for furry, four-legged friends.
– Cleo Fu, Marketing Specialist, ATO, AIT, Taipei, Taiwan
Nothing quite says Happy Valentine’s Day like chocolate! As part of the TastyUSA campaign, FAS Bangkok taught locals how to make a quick, easy, and delicious Valentine’s Day dessert – a three-ingredient chocolate mousse made with U.S. ingredients. With the help of Chef Tony, viewers received step-by-step instructions on how to prepare this classic dish for their beloved Valentine using U.S. chocolate, orange juice, and whipped topping. The Valentine’s video won over the hearts of locals and whipped up new buyers and lovers of U.S. foods and ingredients.
– Kelly Stange, Regional Agricultural Counselor, USDA Office of Agricultural Affairs in Bangkok, Thailand (covering Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos)
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