Status of the Caribbean-AmericanFoods Market

Name: Kay Narineingh

Student # 807003376

What is the Status of the Caribbean-American Foods Market Blog


I applaud the National Caribbean-American Foods and Foodways Alliance (NCAFFA) for creating a hub for connecting students, persons, businesses and organizations who share an interest in Caribbean foods. I find their goal of using educational tools and food systems “foodways” to strengthen community very intriguing. However, one might ask which community.


Caribbean export agriculture has the potential to increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP), access to foreign exchange, drive competitive productivity and reduce unemployment and poverty according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2008. (Kendall P. et. al.) Small producers/ farmers from the Caribbean are constantly competing with international supplier of the same goods. It is constantly becoming less cost effective to compete on the international market as quantity goods produced may be insufficient and greater land access for farming continues to be a constraint on the islands.


The demand in the Caribbean food market may be expanding but is not readily felt in the Caribbean, especially not by our local farmers. Caribbean export revenues averaged an annual decline of 2.5% between 1994 to 2004.(Kendall P. et. al.) Mention was made of an ever growing recognition of “jerk” which is synonymous with Jamaica, it can also be noted that there has been a decline in exports of goods from Jamaica of US$305m (1996) to US$260m (2000), 35.7% of which is exported to the United States (New Agriculturist 2014).


Also, in light of the “demand for small farm production of Caribbean foods adaptable to short growing periods in northern climates “, this is a direct onslaught on Caribbean farmers. If farming is conducted in the U.S. can we really have any rights to that food at all? Is it still “Caribbean”? It may turn out to be another American franchise with some shadow of the Caribbean in it.

As appreciative of the Caribbean way of life and our cooking the NCAFFA may be, their heart for the Caribbean fades when it comes to ‘Home’. How do all its goals, successes and food fairs translate to the growth of the Caribbean communities? Yes, love the food; establish the cuisine in Washington and all across the U.S., but at the end of the day sustainable avenues should be created to secure revenue to the very Caribbean islands from which these cuisines were developed. Steps should be taken to preserve the Caribbean way of life and its food and all exporting of “Caribbean” should benefit the island/s from which these unpatented food ideas/inventions were extracted, instead of leaving room for monopolizing or selling to the “better “market.

The NCAFFA areas of interest should emphasize positive contributions to Caribbean employment to encourage equitable distribution of income in Caribbean homes. They have great potential in being instrumental in fostering change in the Caribbean on a community level through poverty reduction, increased food security and the encouragement of sustainable farming.




Kendall, P. , Petracco M. The Current State and Future of Caribbean Agriculture; Accessed 2017.04.10

New Agriculturist. January 2004. Country Profile Jamaica; Accessed 2017.04.11


Caribbean-American Foods Market

Shari Thomas – 814004196

Caribbean foods have gained considerable popularity within the United States, particularly over the course of the past three decades. A likely reason for this is the increased frequency of migration and travel. Many West Indians have opted to relocate to the United States, carrying with them their own cultural backgrounds and culinary expertise. Typically “Caribbean” foods such as callaloo, Jamaican patties and jerk chicken, stew chicken, roti and plantains have become far more accessible throughout the States. (Wharton 2015). A multitude of highly successful restaurants have been opened by West Indians, such as the Food Sermon in Brooklyn, Caribbean Delite in Miami and Havana Grill in Chicago. The success of these restaurants is fueled by Americans’ increased exposure to Caribbean foods through their travels to Caribbean countries, especially during the Carnival seasons.

It is interesting to note, however, that although Caribbean culture has had a significant impact on American cuisine, so too has American culture impacted Caribbean cuisine. This is evident in the multitude of fast food chain restaurants that can be found in any given Caribbean territory. These include KFC, Subway, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and many others. These fast food restaurants are highly successful, with a KFC branch in Bahamas even achieving a record-breaking number of sales on opening day. American cuisine is even managing to displace Caribbean cuisine in some hotels across the English-speaking Caribbean. (Geddes 2001, 27). This may be due in part to a desire to aspire to the status of developed countries such as the U.S. by eating what they eat.

Based on the article, it is clearly evident that Caribbean culture is rapidly being incorporated into American cuisine. However, the same factors that have contributed to this increase in popularity of Caribbean-American foods have also contributed to a comparable increase in penetration of the Caribbean food market by American cuisine. It must be noted, however, that American cuisine was met with significantly less resistance in the Caribbean market as compared to that experienced by Caribbean foods in the U.S.
Geddes, Bruce. 2001. “Lonely Planet World Food Caribbean.” Melbourne: Lonely Planet Publications.

Wharton, Rachel. 2015. “The New Caribbean Food Movement.” Accessed April 10, 2017.

What is the Status of the Caribbean- American Foods Market Blog

Name: Kallisa Beharry                                     ID#: 813000212

The article provided for analysis and commentary provided us with data and information on some of the reasons why Caribbean cuisine has been a demand and growing population within the American or international population. Their argument based on the great demand for Caribbean cuisine within the American community is due to the migration of Caribbean people as well as Caribbean cultured people. They also stated that another factor that may have influenced this is the vacationing of Americans to the Caribbean and Tropical countries and also the proliferation of food shows on American cable television channels.  Based on their arguments and the data in which they have provided I would have to agree with the wanting and the need of exploring the Caribbean cuisine. Diversification of culture and foods, especially of the Caribbean have been known worldwide.

The Caribbean is known for providing a lot of various different fruits and vegetables as well as foods and delicacies that may or may not be available around the world. Due to the experience in which people have whether it be from vacationing or exposing their culture to non- Caribbean persons is based on the availability and demand of these foods. High demand of these Caribbean foods provides a lot of avenues for persons as well as for the Caribbean. With the constant importing foods from the Caribbean to the American countries it provides revenues and brings in money from the country and exporters. This can be a way of improving sustainable development for farmers in terms of creating jobs, such that if their produce is in high demand, they can provide distribution of the necessary amount while earning extra cash apart from their regular local jobs.

Apart from providing jobs locally it can also provide jobs internationally for those Caribbean people who have migrated to live across there as well as provided integration with the different cultures and also provide expose of the new cultures. Apart from integration and diversification of cultures there is also the nutrition factor which can contribute to the lifestyle of the Americans. Some people may not be accustomed to the fast life of the Americans and this may provide a healthier lifestyle for those persons taking into consideration the nutritional factors in which local produce for the Caribbean may provide as well as the way it is prepared in conserving the nutrients instead of “over-cooking” the foods.

By providing some sort of agreement with the Caribbean and international counties that require Caribbean local produce, the cost exporting foods from the Caribbean can be at a cheaper and reasonable price. In this way there would be the exporting of locals foods, provide job opportunities both locally and internationally and this in turn will also help in the sustainable development of the country. It would also provide nutritional benefits for those consuming the local produce as well as promoting a healthier lifestyle.

What is the Status of American Caribbean Food Market?


Akellia Daniel

I agree with this article that there is an increase demand of Caribbean foods in the United States. This is due to the fact that there is a very high level of Caribbean people migrating to the States, it is estimated that in 2014, approximately 4 million immigrants from the Caribbean resided in the United States, accounting for 9 percent of the nation’s 42.4 million immigrants. (Batalova 2016) This therefore influence American people of both Caribbean heritage and other heritage to enjoy Caribbean foods. One site called Caribbean-American Foods.

Deals with importing various food products from the Caribbean to the United States its vision is to inform and enlighten its consumers about Caribbean cuisine. The site, encourages food manufacturer, distributor, restaurateur and persons who are in love with Caribbean food to use this site. It is also used as a Directory for Caribbean food businesses in a particular area.

After reading this article I understood that the main issues are to show:

  • There is an increase of imports /demand for Caribbean foods in the United States due to the high level of Caribbean immigrants.
  • Educate and encourage people of Caribbean heritage living in the United States to get into big food businesses.
  • To educate people of the limitations faced by Caribbean own restaurant businesses which tend to be small and fall in the brackets of mom and pop operations.

I believe with this increase of imported food to the United States, this may have both a positive and negative effect on the Caribbean region.
Positive effects

  • Can increase the foreign exchange that is brought into the Caribbean region.
  • Can increase the livelihood of the famers that produce the foods to be exported.
  • Government can implement policies which aids the Caribbean region on their export of foods to the United States.
  • Can encourage more people in the Caribbean region to get into farming and the agriculture sector.
  • Making more Caribbean people be appreciative of their local foods.

Negative effects

  • Since there would be a great demand, local consumers would have to compete with the United States consumers.
  • Prices of goods will go up for local consumers since, producers would prefer to export their goods to the United States market.
  • Production of foods would not be grown in a sustainable manner . i.e. with higher demand means that production must be increase therefore , farmers may exhaust the soil and practice improper farming techniques to reach their demand goals.
  • Workers would be exploited i.e. improper working conditions, hours worked and moneys not being paid to the workers.
  • Competition with United States market that may grow local foods.

In order to balance the food export from the Caribbean to the United States, we must ensure that better management, programs and policies are set up such as,

Caribbean governments, Caribbean restaurant owners and distributors who lives aboard can come together to aid each other. Example, Governments should have special policies for traders and distributors dealing with the export of Caribbean foods, in the United States market. Grants could be given to restaurants owners in starting up a bigger business and in turn the restaurant owners can give 10% of their profits back.

Educating local farmers is another suggestion. Example, setting up educational programs teaching farmers how to grow their produce in a sustainable manner even when demands may be high .



Batalova, Jie Zong and Jeanne. 2016. “Caribbean Immigrants in the United States.” migration policy institution. SEPTEMBER 14. Accessed April 7, 2017.

Fraser, Trevor. 2014. “About Caribbean-American Foods.” Caribbean-American Foods. Accessed April 8, 2017. .


Q#1: What is the Status of American Caribbean Food Market??

Martina Alexander

ID: 813000777

Due to the increase in the population of Caribbean occupants in America and the advertisement of our multicultural cuisine, it has caused an increase in demand for local foods sources. Food consumption patterns of the population have also been considerably influenced by the food marketing system. Therefore, a plethora of local food businesses have been established in these area of the globes to facilitate the American-Caribbean Food Market. The Food Market allows a chain of marketing activities between the manufacturer and the purchaser .However, these transaction includes processors, the companies that transport the produces and those that distribute it to various allocations. The food marketing system is the largest direct and indirect non-government company in the United States.

Additionally, we can see much of the produce used in the islands are exported to North America and Europe. These include popular local vegetables like breadfruit, christophenes, plantains, sweet potatoes, avocados, yams, cassava and fruits like mangoes, papayas are a popular demand by these countries. However, in my opinion, because of the high demand of local produces in the American countries I agree that it have a few drawbacks to the food market system. Sometimes, these local produces may be out of season or may be difficult to cultivate due to climate changes. This affects the food availability in these American countries which can have a major effect on the Food Affordability. This can cause an increase in food prices causing a decrease in sales in the Food Market resulting in food businesses to stop. I think that they should reconsider implementing some Government policies to help improve the food market by helping the Caribbean invest in some methods of genetic modification and storing seeds in order to help provide enough local foods for the growing population in America.


n.d. “Caribbean Foods:A Brief History.” Caribbean Food JA Origins. Accessed April 08, 2017.

Elsevier Inc. June 1995. “Changing patterns of food, nutrition and health in the Caribbean.” Nutrition Research Pages 899-938.