Guatemala City — As the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup generates huge tourism and trade opportunities, Guatemala is taking advantage of the opportunities to export its products to the fans enjoying the soccer in the Persian Gulf nation.
According to data from the food and beverages commission of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport), exports to Qatar to August 2022 totaled around $34,000, with snacks and confectionery products the most in-demand.
In addition, exports to the entire Middle East region by the industry totaled around $1.2 million between January and August, with the region a market for Guatemalan products such as non-cocoa confectionery, snacks and nachos, jellies and jams, and canned fruits.
An example of what has been shipped are the products of Guatemalan company, Alimentos YaEstá! which sent two containers of its products to the Middle East with cheese-flavored nachos, barbecue, green sauce and pizza.
“Qatar is a cosmopolitan market and demands products from different countries, and we saw a great opportunity not only because of the World Cup, so we decided to take a risk with a presentation of 150 grams,” said Sylvia Menéndez, general manager of YaEstá! and guest director of Agexport’s food and beverages commission.
For this occasion, samples of artisan nacho were sent, as well as artisan nacho white corn and black corn; each product has a label and nutritional table in Arabic according to the requirements of the country, and which has allowed the quality of the product to be maintained. The products have been reportedly well received.
“The customer is very happy because we have managed to enter several Arab countries and we hope that this will be a long-term negotiation, not only for this great event, but also to sell our products in the supermarkets,” Menéndez added.
Agexport’s market intelligence unit states that Guatemala’s exports to the Middle East this year totaled $209 million, and Guatemala is a major exporter of cardamom to the region, with export volumes having doubled to the Middle East, to total $3.6 million.
Wendy Bonifaz, commercial manager of CA Logistics, said that Qatar is a client that demands the best quality cardamom because of demand and the country’s purchasing power.
For the World Cup, this product will have a special role in the dishes offered to visitors and tourists who attend the World Cup, Bonifaz said, and that the Guatemalan variety of the grain stands out for its quality, size, color and aroma, although the grain’s price is currently low.