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Regional Retail Promotions Help U.S. Pork Reach New Heights in Mexico

U.S. pork’s presence in the retail meat case has expanded dramatically in Mexico, and not only in the large national chains. Regional supermarket chains are also an important outlet for U.S. pork and present a unique opportunity for USMEF retail promotions.
Customers enjoy grilled U.S. pork samples in Campeche, Mexico

Customers enjoy grilled U.S. pork samples in Campeche, Mexico

Funded by the Pork Checkoff, USMEF recently conducted a four-week U.S. pork promotion with San Francisco de Asis supermarkets in southeastern Mexico. The company operates 45 stores in the region, but the promotion focused on four – two in Playa del Carmen and one each in Cancun and Campeche – that were all new or recently remodeled. U.S. pork tasting demonstrations allowed customers to enjoy samples and learn about the quality and versatility of U.S. pork.

Compared to the same period in 2011, participating stores reported increased sales for all U.S. pork items featured in the demonstrations. Sales of pork steak were up 75 percent and boneless pork leg sales more than doubled. The demonstrations also proved successful in expanding sales of U.S. pork ribs, which had sold only in very small quantities a year ago.

“San Francisco de Asis is a good example of a regional partner helping us raise the retail profile of U.S. pork in southeastern Mexico,” said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. “While the promotion focused on four strategically located supermarkets, we’re excited about the prospects for U.S. pork throughout the entire chain, which is 45 locations and growing.”

Through October, 2012 pork and pork variety meat exports to Mexico totaled 499,724 metric tons (1.1 billion pounds) valued at $928.5 million – an increase of 16 percent in volume and 12 percent in value over the same period in 2011. Exports to Mexico are on pace to break the 2010 record for volume (545,732 metric tons or 1.2 billion pounds) and the 2011 value record of $1.04 billion.