The strategy behind the promotion was to communicate the positive attributes of U.S. pork to HEB customers by grilling product samples and providing cooking tips and promotional materials. Demonstrators grilled samples on six consecutive weekends. Customers were also invited to purchase full portions of selected U.S. pork products and have grilling experts cook them free-of-charge outside the store.
“HEB customers responded to this promotion in a big way,” said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. “We are pleased with the results, both in terms of the amount of product sold and the fact that USMEF was able to execute a very successful promotion with a new retail partner. Regional supermarket chains are a key focus for us at this time, as we look for ways to further expand the presence of U.S. pork at the retail level.”
With December results still to be published, U.S. pork exports to Mexico (including both muscle cuts and variety meat) totaled 477,221 metric tons (about 1.05 billion pounds) in 2011, valued at $925.3 million. This is slightly below the record pace of 2010 in terms of volume, but December results should push export value past the previous, single-year record of $986.7 million. With a strong December, Mexico could become the first international market other than Japan to import more than $1 billion in U.S. pork in a single calendar year.