Working to build relationships in the Chilean market and grow demand for U.S. red meat, USMEF supplemented promotions at the Espacio Food Show in Santiago by meeting with importers, conducting foodservice trainings and providing tasting samples at an urban grilling festival. Funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Pork Board, the activities in Chile included extensive use of social media to appeal to a larger audience.
“Social media is an effective and efficient way to raise the profile of U.S. red meat in Chile, so at Espacio we used the USMEF booth to increase our Instagram and Facebook followers,” explained Jessica Julca, USMEF representative in South America. “Then we let them spin a roulette wheel for a chance to win prizes. It was a very fun and interactive way to engage people at the show, while at the same time sharing information about U.S. beef and pork.”
Espacio attracted more than 25,000 visitors, with nearly 1,000 vendor booths representing 12 countries. The U.S. Pavilion played host to 55 U.S. companies, including USMEF.
During the show, a dozen USMEF members participated in one-on-one meetings arranged by USMEF’s South America office. The 30-minute meetings involved 28 Chilean importers looking for a variety of red meat products.
“Along with setting up those meetings between importers and exporters, USMEF staff met with several foodservice buyers and potential customers – importers in the region looking for U.S. meat suppliers,” said Julca.
In the days prior to the show, USMEF partnered with Jumbo, a major retail chain that operates 48 stores in Chile, to promote U.S. beef and pork at the Santiago Grill Festival, a three-day expo featuring the latest in barbecue ingredients, methods and equipment. U.S. beef outside skirt and striploin was prepared, along with U.S. pork spareribs.
Chilean chef and social media celebrity Celso Campos led cooking demonstrations and offered tips for serving U.S. beef and pork dishes, with visitors enjoying samples.
Near the conclusion of the Espacio show, USMEF organized a U.S. beef training for 25 staff members of the Muu Steakhouse chain. Muu belongs to Grupo Cinco Millas, which operates 33 restaurants in Chile.
The training session included presentations on U.S. beef’s attributes and cold chain management for red meat products.