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American Condiments Gaining Foreign Fans

May 19, 1992

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Growing numbers of people around the world are saying ″pass the ketchup, please″ and helping U.S. exporters reap steadily rising profits from the sale of condiments.

Export sales of U.S. condiments, such as ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressing, have gone from $66.6 million in fiscal 1988 to $164 million in fiscal 1991, says the June issue of AgExporter magazine.

″A well-developed U.S. food processing sector that ensures consistent product quality at competitive prices has enabled U.S. shippers to take advantage of growing world condiment demand,″ the report said.

″U.S. condiment exporters predict even further gains, particularly in East Asian markets, where the steady growth in eating out is likely to continue,″ it said.

The largest group of U.S. condiment exports consists of a variety of tomato-based sauces, such as salsa and hot sauce, with a total of over $30 million in sales in 1991.

Export growth has been at least 10 percent every year since 1986 for mayonnaise, salad dressing and tomato ketchup.

The top market for U.S. condiment exports is Canada, which took in $61 million worth in 1991, almost twice the level of the year before.

Sales to Canada have been helped by strong cultural links between the two countries, the article said.

″For instance, a fitness boom that began in the United States now has pushed across Canada, driving up demand for low-calorie salad dressings,″ it said. ″Having successfully developed products to meet demand here, U.S. salad dressing shippers were well-placed to service Canadian demand.″

U.S. exporters, who just four years ago had very little of the Canadian salad dressing market, now control roughly 90 percent of it.

Japan is the largest U.S. condiment market in East Asia, with almost $15 million in sales in 1991. It is the largest export market in the world for U.S. ketchup, with $4.6 million in sales last year.

″While still a small percentage of total processed food exports, sales of U.S. condiments will continue to expand with growing Westernized tastes for consumer-ready foods throughout most of the developed economies of the world,″ the report said.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Legislation has passed a House Agriculture subcommittee to establish guidelines for harvesting Pacific yew trees, a source of the cancer-fighting drug taxol.

The legislation requires the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to complete an inventory of Pacific yew on federal lands within six months.

The secretaries of Agriculture and Interior would also be required to pursue policies allowing sustained harvest of the Pacific yew for the manufacture of taxol and promoting long-term conservation of the tree on federal lands.

Taxol, a drug used in the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer, can be extracted from the bark of the yew tree. Bark from several trees is needed to provide enough taxol for one patient.

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