Today’s supply chains are seeing serious shortages. The shortages even apply to the foodservice sector and many customer favorites are in short supply. In fact, Starbucks had to remove 25 popular drinks from its menu because major ingredients are simply not available. The shortages are creating a demand to import flavored syrups, which can come with its own set of challenges.
You might be able to import flavored syrups to strengthen your supply chain and make your customers happy. However, there are a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind. You’ll need to follow the guidelines outlined in HTSUS Chapter 21. Imports will also likely be subject to inspection and a few special taxes.
Importing flavored syrups is a solution to the supply chain crunch. We’ve put together some information about the flavored syrup shortage, how businesses are dealing, how to import flavored syrups, and how a strategic partner like USA Customs Clearance can help.
Flavored syrups are a crucial ingredient in favorite coffee drinks and other beverages. Syrup brands like Monin and Torani are imported into the U.S. to meet the needs (and sweet tooth) of today’s consumers. Monin syrups come from Brogues, France, while Torani syrups have Italian roots.
Sugar is the main ingredient in most flavored syrups. According to reports from Bloomberg, Spring and Summer 2021 have brought a major shortage in the global sugar supply chain.
The sugar supply chain problems stem from issues in Brazil, which is currently also facing a fuel shortage. Sugar for food and flavored syrups is in tight supply as the country’s vast sugar harvest is being used for ethanol production. It’s a fuel-vs-food crisis, and it is impacting the whole world.
Of course, there are other important players in the flavored syrup market, but these big brands are the ones leading the tight supply chains. Foodservice suppliers are in a very tight supply of syrups right now. Just how tight? One foodservice supplier, Cheney Brothers, Inc., has no flavored syrups available to its customer base according to a July 13, 2021 search of its online catalog.
Starbucks and Dunkin’ are two major coffee chains in the United States. Both have had to eliminate menu items due to the flavored syrup supply chain problems. Starbucks has more than 15,000 locations in the United States; Dunkin’ has 9,300 locations in the U.S. This means customers who frequent more than 14,300 coffee spots are missing access to some of their favorite beverages.
Restaurants and coffee shops are dealing with the flavored syrup shortage in unique ways. Starbucks recently eliminated 25 menu items because key ingredients are no longer available.
Unavailable items on the official Starbucks list include:
While Starbucks has reacted to supply chain problems by eliminating menu items, some restaurants and coffee shops are getting creative and sourcing alternative suppliers of flavored syrups. Others are making their own.
No matter which route you choose to follow, you’ll need a little know-how to get started. Let’s dive into some of the things you’ll need to know to import flavored syrups.
Importing flavored syrups is bis business -- even when there’s not a global supply crunch. In fact, numbers from BusinessWire indicate that the revenue generated by importing flavored syrups and concentrates topped $12 billion in 2018, which is up 5.5% over 2017. These numbers are expected to rise through 2025, even with the shortages.
The first step in sourcing flavored syrups is finding a supplier abroad. Most flavored syrup imports coming into the U.S. come from our Great White neighbor to the north, Canada. However, this isn’t the only place to source flavored syrups. Major companies importing and exporting flavored syrups and concentrates into the U.S. include:
After sourcing your imports from abroad, it is time to get down to business with a Licensed Customs Broker. USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC Internation, has a staff of import experts ready to go to work for you. Import consulting services offer an opportunity for one-on-one assistance and guidance with your flavored syrup imports.
You’ll need to comply with guidelines and duties outlined in Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS) Chapter 21 when importing flavored syrups. Additionally, your imports will be subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protection (CPB) at the point of entry. You’ll also likely need a customs bond. Again, it might be a good idea to rely on the expertise of a Licensed Customs Broker to guide you through these processes.
Do you need to import flavored syrups for retail? There might be a few extra hoops to jump through. Our expansive post covers everything you need to know about how to import food products for resale.
See how you can import flavored syrups and keep your supply chain strong by working with a strategic customs ally. USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, is ready to go to work for you and help you find solutions.
From sourcing syrups from abroad to getting the right customs bond to navigating clearance, we’re ready to assist at every step of your import journey. Get ready to be the solution to your business’s supply chain problems.
Reach out today to get 1-on-1 assistance with your customs clearance and importing queries. We’re here to guide you through the importing process and make sure you are armed with the information and tools you need to swiftly navigate customs and more. Call 855-912-0406 now.