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Audio: Outreach to Regional Supermarket Chains Aimed at Building Demand for U.S. Beef in Northern Mexico

Click to play audio file In Mexico, the largest destination for U.S. beef exports, most of USMEF’s retail demand-building activities are conducted with large, national retailers and distributors in major metropolitan areas. But as the U.S. beef industry looks to further expand its presence in Mexico, the Beef Checkoff Program recently authorized USMEF to launch a new outreach campaign with regional supermarket chains in the northern region of the country. These supermarket chains are of significant size – ranging from 170 store locations to 34 locations – so they constitute an important target market for U.S. beef. Chains participating in the program include Casa Ley (170 stores), Calimax (72 stores), Sante Fe (60 stores), HEB (39 stores) and Super del Norte (34 stores).

As USMEF Regional Director Chad Russell explains, the outreach campaign currently consists of staff training and development conducted through the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (aka Tech Monterrey). These programs will help the regional supermarket chains modernize, expand and improve their meat departments – which, in time, will make these store locations better candidates for aggressive, point-of-sale promotion of U.S. beef.

Through the first half of 2011, U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to Mexico totaled nearly 280 million pounds valued at $475 million – an increase of 8 percent in volume and 25 percent in value over the same period in 2010.

FULL AUDIO TRANSCRIPT:

JOE SCHUELE: This is Joe Schuele with the U.S. Meat Export Federation report. In Mexico, the largest foreign destination for U.S. beef, most of USMEFs retail demand building activities are conducted with large national retailers and distributors. But the beef checkoff program recently authorized USMEF to launch a new outreach campaign with regional supermarket chains in the northern region of the country. USMEF Regional Director, Chad Russell explains:

CHAD RUSSELL: The main goal of the initiative was to reach out to regional supermarket chains, who traditionally USMEF has not been working with that much. So the idea would be to further penetrate the Mexican retail market and to develop new potential customers for US beef. Most of these companies are in the north of Mexico. Casa Ley has 170 stores. Another regional supermarket chain is called Calimax, which has 72 stores primarily located in the northern part of Mexico and also to the west, Baja, California and Sonora. Another chain called Santa Fe that has 60 stores, and another called Super del Norte with 34 stores.

JOE SCHUELE: Russell says the current focus of the campaign is on education and training that will allow these supermarkets to expand and modernize their meat departments:

CHAD RUSSELL: The idea would be that through this training and education, we might be able to get their meat cases and product handling capabilities up to a higher level. These very intensive, specially designed seminars, which are through the Tech Monterray University the better known university in all of Mexico, will help them upgrade their operation, develop their meat department, and at some point become better potential customers for the US.

JOE SCHUELE: For more on this and other USMEF activities, please visit www.usmef.org.