Abstract

This paper presents

information about the U.S. ethnic market for dry beans of

Central American origin, describes the potential opportunities

and constraints that these four countries face in expanding

bean exports, and provides information to policymakers and

potential exporters in these countries regarding ways to relax

these constraints. No study has been carried out to describe

the potential ethnic demand in the USA for Central American

dry beans. USA Census Bureau data were analyzed to

identify the states and cities with the highest concentration of

people from these countries. Five cities were identified and

visited in order to: a) obtain data on the availability of beans

in retail stores, b) survey Central American consumers on

their dry beans preferences, c) survey Central American

organizations, importers, and distributors to understand the

dynamics of the dry bean trade. Traders in Miami are also

importing dry beans from Honduras. Central American dry

beans sell at a price 25-50% higher than USA beans of similar

market classes. Furthermore, people of Central American

origin have a strong preference for dry beans from their

country of origin.

Keywords: ethnic markets, beans, Central América, USA.