USMEF recently conducted a retail beef promotion with Super Selectos, the largest supermarket chain in the Central American nation of El Salvador, in cooperation with meat distributor Alimentos Campeón. The promotion, which was conducted at 18 high-end Super Selectos retail locations, was supported by the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).
El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America, with a population of about 6 million. Four of Central America’s 12 largest cities (San Salvador, Soyapango, Santa Ana and San Miguel) are located in El Salvador. Consumers there are most familiar with domestic beef or beef imported from Nicaragua. In either case, the beef is from grass-fed cattle and severely lacking in tenderness.
The objective of the promotion was to better acquaint Super Selectos customers with grain-fed beef and educate them on the superior quality and enjoyment offered by U.S. products. Beef cuts featured in the promotion included inside and outside skirt, ribeye, striploin, knuckle, short rib, top blade and coulotte.
Super Selectos customers responded to the promotion in tremendous fashion. The promotion spanned the entire fourth quarter of 2011, during which time the average monthly sales of these beef cuts jumped nearly 750 percent over the monthly average from January through September (nearly a 10,000 pound monthly average, compared to about 1,200 pounds pre-promotion). A seasonal comparison also shows excellent results, as sales jumped about 63 percent from the same time period in 2010.
“Our wholesale and retail partners in this promotion were very pleased with the results,” said USMEF Director of Trade Development Gerardo Rodriguez. “Consumers who sampled U.S. beef during the promotion had a great appreciation for the quality of the product, and this showed up in a big way at the cash register.”
Through November 2011, U.S. beef exports to El Salvador increased 2 percent in volume to 116 metric tons (about 256,000 pounds) over the same period in 2010, but jumped 16 percent in value to $939,200 (these figures include variety meat, though most exports to El Salvador are muscle cuts). Beef exports performed extremely well in 2011 throughout the Central and South America region, increasing 50 percent in volume (23,340 metric tons or pounds) and 76 percent in value (nearly $75 million) compared to the previous year.