Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia present many opportunities for U.S. products along with challenges posed by competition in these markets. Exporters with product access to the EU-27 should give serious consideration to emerging markets in these new member states. The economies of the Baltic States lent themselves to niche markets for U.S. high value products. This region highly regards America and proudly displays their American linkage with a flag or geographic emphasis. The Baltic States' retail and HRI sectors are growing. The region's expanding food processing sector also provides opportunities for U.S. suppliers of a wide variety of raw ingredients. Most popular are U.S. consumer-ready and high-value food products, from grapefruit, cranberries, seafood, wine and spirits, pet food to baking ingredients, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and protein isolates.
Nuts: almonds, walnuts
Increasing preference of Latvian consumers towards healthier and vegetarian cuisine presents a strong potential for supplying the Latvian market with high quality fish and seafood products. Currently France, Spain and Scandinavia, mostly Norway, are the main competitors to the U.S. when it comes to the seafood supply to Latvia. A steady supply of high quality products is an important factor driving the purchase decision making process, as locally sourced supplies can vary in quality and quantities availability. Within the alcoholic beverages sector, the steady inflow of foreign tourists coming to Latvia on board cruise ships creates a potential for supplying the coastline stores with American wines and bourbon. Due to the fact that Latvia is a relatively small market, the country’s purchasing potential is too small to be able to buy directly from the U.S. Therefore, a reliable network of distributors with stocks in Europe is necessary to develop sales of U.S. products on this market. Currently, main competitors to the U.S. wines include France, New Zealand and Australia.