U.S. Pork and Beef Promoted at Central America Walmart StoresPublished: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
USMEF recently conducted a series of in-store promotions at 30 Walmart supermarkets in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. The promotions, funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the Pork Checkoff and the Beef Checkoff Program, included tasting samples of various U.S. pork and beef dishes.
According to Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF marketing director in the region, the effort produced excellent results: Walmart reported that during the four-month promotional period, U.S. pork sales increased 78 percent, while U.S. beef sales jumped 38 percent.
“Walmart has nearly 700 stores in Central America, so it is a very important retail chain for red meat sales,” explained Rodriguez. “This campaign covered a large portion of the region, as we did promotions in 10 stores in Guatemala, nine in Costa Rica, six in El Salvador and five in Nicaragua. We wanted to reach as many consumers as possible, and different types of consumers. Our plan was to have people who might never have tasted U.S. pork or U.S. beef try it at one of these Walmart promotions and decide, ‘I’m going to try that at home and prepare it for my family.’ We want to establish a presence for U.S. meat and educate consumers, so that when they are offered a choice, they choose U.S. products.”
The U.S. pork cuts promoted during the Walmart campaign were bone-in and boneless ham, bone-in loin, baby back ribs, spare ribs, riblets and St. Louis-style ribs.
Rodriguez noted that the U.S. pork riblets were very popular with Central American consumers, who cited the dish’s flavor and reasonable pricing.
U.S. beef cuts promoted were outside and inside skirt, ribeye, porterhouse, T-bone, short ribs, top sirloin cap, tri-tip, flap and New York strip.
“USDA Select beef cuts were offered at this promotion to compete with domestic beef produced in the region – mainly in Nicaragua,” noted Rodriguez. “In our surveys, consumers rated the quality of U.S. beef cuts as a notch above the competition.”