India is the world’s fifth largest economy, with a population of over one billion people. Food consumption is growing 4.1 percent annually and is expected to reach $344 billion by 2025.

Food, non-alcoholic beverages, and wine imports to India are growing nearly 25 percent yearly. To help Virginia farmers and producers take advantage of this burgeoning market, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) offers them the opportunity to introduce their products to India through a partnership with the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA).

Producers will be able to participate in two events for the same low price. From Dec. 2-4, they will exhibit at the International Food and Drink Expo in New Delhi where they will have a presence in the SUSTA pavilion and the opportunity to meet with key buyers. SUSTA will ship up to 50 pounds of product samples to the show at no cost to the producer, and a chef will prepare product samples at the show.

Following the food show, producers will participate in a Trade Mission to Mumbai Dec. 5-6. In Mumbai, they will tour retail stores and meet with buyers.

The best prospects for import to India include breakfast food, canned foods, snack foods, condiments, nuts, specialty foods, beverages and wines.

Information for participants:

• Participation fee: $350 (includes both events.)

• SUSTA will pay airfare for one company participant and for shipping up to 50 pounds of product samples.

• Participants are responsible for hotel accommodations.

• Samples must be shipped to a forwarder by Oct. 30, 2009.

• Deadline to register is Oct. 23, 2009. (No refunds will be issued after the registration deadline.)

“Food and grocery retailing accounts for 62 percent of India’s total retail market,” said Keith Long, Director of VDACS’ Office of International Marketing, “and that segment of the market will be worth $150 billion by 2025. India is a fast growing market with many opportunities, but it can also be a challenging market to enter. This trade mission is a low-cost way for companies to test the waters without a big investment.”

Producers interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to introduce their products to India should contact Keith Long. Call 804-371-8990 or e-mail keith.long@vdacs.virginia.gov.

Click here for information on additional domestic and international trade events.