First Food and Hotel China Show Since U.S. Beef’s Return Provides OpportunityPublished: Thursday, January 18th, 2018
The 2017 Food and Hotel China (FHC) trade show – the first since the ban on U.S. beef was lifted – gave USMEF an opportunity to showcase U.S. red meat to a wider range of Chinese food buyers and address their questions about importing U.S. products. With funding from the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff, USMEF chefs and staff served U.S. beef and pork tasting samples at an expanded booth at the Shanghai show.
“Knowing that we would see more interest due to U.S. beef coming back into the market, we added more room to display U.S. beef and pork, and to demonstrate ways to handle and cook the products,” explained Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China. “We also needed more room so that we could visit with more buyers and managers from China’s HRI and retail sectors, business people looking for supplier information. We divided our booth space into different sections for different functions, so that visitors could easily find the information they were looking for.”
FHC attracted nearly 2,500 exporters and distributors from 69 countries. More than 91,300 people attended the show, many of them food buyers from across China.
USMEF’s booth included a product display room for portion control U.S. beef and pork and an information counter. USMEF member companies were given individual space to display samples and have discussions with clients and potential clients.
A USMEF chef performed cutting demonstrations throughout the show, sharing tips on how to merchandise U.S. beef and pork.
“For U.S. beef, we mainly displayed economical items such as chuck and leg cuts,” said Liang. “We took the opportunity to introduce buyers to new items and explained their versatility. We let them know that U.S. beef is not exclusively for high-end end users in China.”
USMEF highlighted the chuck tender, chuck shoulder clod, top blade muscle, knuckle, bottom outside round (flat) and eye of round at FHC.
U.S. pork cuts featured were CT butt, knuckle and outside flat.
USMEF also invited a chef from Dadong, one of the top Chinese fusion restaurant chains, to help prepare tasting samples and give buyers menu ideas. To promote economical items, the chef prepared shoulder clod, chuck tender, chuck flap, pork butt and pork spareribs for visitors to taste.
According to Liang, the preparation for increased traffic at the USMEF booth proved worthwhile.
“USMEF members and our own people working the booth noticed a lot of potential clients came by for information,” he said. “It helped our members develop new clients, and many traders came to ask how they could get in touch with U.S. beef exporters and local importers.”