While Venezuela poses unique challenges as an export market, opportunities are growing for food and wine exporters to enter and…
Doing Business in Venezuela
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While Venezuela poses unique challenges as an export market, opportunities are growing for food and wine exporters to enter and expand in the market.
Domestic production cannot meet consumer demand, leading to a continued dependence on imports. The emergence of a new type of retail outlet, “Bodegon” that caters to middle and high-income consumers is creating a major market for imports of consumer-oriented products.
The exemption of imported food products from tariffs since 2018, dollarization of the economy, and the liberalization of trade is creating a more enabling environment for exporters.
In 2021, the United States increased its export to Venezuela by 44.8% compared to 2020. This consolidated its position as Venezuela’s top supplier of food and agricultural products by volume with a 35.5% import market share, and second top supplier of these products by value with 26.1% import market share.
The private sector can now freely import food products from their preferred origin and seller.
- There are growing opportunities to export products to higher income consumers through “Bodegones”.
- Local retailers see U.S. suppliers as a reliable source in terms of volume, standards, and quality.
- Media in Venezuela is highly influenced by U.S. culture and consumers are aware of U.S. brands and products.
- Venezuelans are open to ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat imported food products.
- U.S. franchises remain popular. Despite the economic crisis, some traditional U.S. franchises are surviving in Venezuela.
- The Venezuelan economy is increasingly dollarized and the U.S. dollar is freely circulating in the country.
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