Friday 19 August 2022

Ycua goes from being an exotic snack to exploring its export potential

Costa Rican businessmen who export yuca-based snacks agree that the product is accepted in different markets worldwide and that there are still opportunities to be exploited.

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19 August 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Yuca (Cassava in English), a common root for the Costa Rican consumer, is an exotic snack with growth possibilities for the main markets in the world, something that six companies already take advantage of in Costa Rica.

Costa Rican businessmen who export yuca-based snacks agree that the product is accepted in different markets worldwide and that there are still opportunities to be exploited.

According to managers of the Costa Rican Chamber of Exporters, local companies engaged in the production of yuca products have the competitive advantage given that the country harvests high-quality yuca, because the sweet taste and levels of softness differentiate them from other manufacturers.

A study published in 2019 by the Programa Descubre (Discover program) found that 150 Costa Rican products have value chains with potential and opportunities in international markets. First, there are yuca byproducts.

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Data from the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer), show the growth that exports of this crop and its derivatives have already had (not counting snacks), especially in terms of value.

Luis Guillermo Gamboa, commercial manager of Alimentos Bermúdez S.A., told Nacion.com that “… There is a lot of potential, but we have found many cases, mainly in the Caribbean countries, where consumers know about yuca and consume it but not in snacks or chips, so it requires additional work, important, to change those consumption habits.”

Juan Carlos Salazar, general manager of Productos Kitty, explained that “… the success of yuca exports is very relative and ends up being defined by the taste of the intermediary client.”

Opportunities. In addition to yuca by-products, other foods with export potential in their value chain are those derived from goat, blackberry, aloe, turmeric, seaweed, shrimp and by-products, hemp, insects and coyol: all are activities that have the potential of national production and they have opportunities in international markets. Source: Discover Program

The United States, most of the Caribbean islands, Panama, Mexico, Italy and Spain, are the main destinations for exports by Costa Rican companies.

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Reports by QCR staff

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