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Covid making European market a hard nut to crack

Despite the adverse effects of the global Covid pandemic on the food and beverage industry, our research shows that as far as dried fruit and nuts are concerned, while the foodservice end of things is struggling, retail is up between 15% and 25%. Much of that gain is in cheaper nuts, but overall demand in the market as a whole is reasonably stable.

Photo of almonds to illustrate article.

There are some challenges that do take considerable work to overcome, particularly in the U.S., as logistics from there have become more involved, especially as far as container shipping is concerned. It should be noted that, with COVID restrictions varying enormously across Europe, some important European countries are behind on U.S. imports.

Breaking into European and UK markets

In TradeScope’s experience, the surest and fastest way into these markets for U.S. dried fruit and nuts producers is through one of these three routes:

  • selling to Europe from the US (sometimes using brokers)

  • hiring a sales rep in Europe

  • using a European agent

All of the these tacks involve an on-the-ground presence at European and U.K. trade shows. In these COVID times, of course, that is easier said than done. Trade shows across Europe are still being cancelled or are in doubt, even those due to take place later in the year. We really can take nothing for granted as far as shows going ahead is concerned. We have listed some of the most popular trade shows and their current status below. (Virtual trade shows continue to take place but while they are working reasonably well, they can’t beat physical shows.)

In addition, due to the uncertainties surrounding global travel, it’s difficult to count on the feasibility of other marketing avenues such as trade missions of European buyers to dried fruit and nuts producers in important states such as California, New Mexico and Arizona. Bringing U.S. producers the other way is also subject to travel/Covid-related issues. Nevertheless, TradeScope is forging ahead making such arrangements as we can while keeping a beady eye on how the pandemic affects travel in our various markets.

Fortunately, now is when our intimate knowledge of both the European and U.K. markets, as well as our long-standing contacts with many North American dried fruit and nuts producers, really comes into its own. Despite the pandemic doing its best to make it seem so, time does not stand still and producers and buyers need to trade their wares now more than ever.

Contact Ted Horton at TradeScope here for more information about how our services and how we assist North American producers and European and U.K. buyers to find each other to their mutual benefit.

As promised above, here’s a list of what we consider the most important dried fruit & nuts trade shows in Europe and the U.K. and their current status.


Anuga (Cologne, Germany)

STILL ON for 9 – 13 October 2021

SIAL (Paris, France)

POSTPONED to 15 – 19 October 2022


Food Ingredients Europe (Frankfurt, Germany)

STILL ON 30 Nov – 2 Dec 2021

Fruit Logistica (Berlin, Germany)

POSTPONED to February 2022

PLMA International (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

STILL ON 14 – 15 December 2021 (Ted, it says it’s still on on their website)


Biofach (Nuremberg, Germany)

POSTPONED to February 2022


Nordic Organic Food Fair (MalmöMässan, Sweden)

STILL ON 17 – 18 November 2021

Natural & Organic Products (London, UK)

POSTPONED to April 2022


Food and Drink Expo (Birmingham, UK)

STILL ON 5 – 7 July 2021

Speciality & Fine Food Fair (London, UK)

STILL ON 6 – 7 September 2021

Tuttofood (Milan, Italy)

STILL ON 22 – 26 October 2021

IFE (London, UK)

POSTPONED to March 2022

Alimentaria (Barcelona, Spain)

POSTPONED to April 2022


ISM (Cologne, Germany)

POSTPONED to 30 Jan – 2 Feb 2022

Südback (Stuttgart, Germany)

POSTPONED to March 2022

IBA (Munich, Germany)

POSTPONED to October 2023


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