Restrictions related to the pandemic accelerated the development of a program already begun by USMEF in Mexico – mobile education and promotion. USMEF further developed its Mobile Kitchen and Grill Academy to implement educational activities with importers and their customers onsite, often in parking lots or open spaces near their offices. USMEF has experienced stronger engagement with importers and greater reach by taking educational programs on the road to new markets and regions of the country.
Accordingly, USMEF is further expanding the program into targeted regions of Central America.
“We partner with importers in developing these workshops so we can provide the information their customers need and share new ideas with them about grilling and cooking techniques for high-quality cuts of U.S. red meat,” says Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America and Dominican Republic.
Audiences learn about quality attributes of U.S. red meat, including grain-feeding, grading and food safety. New grilling and cooking applications for a wide range of U.S. red meat cuts are then demonstrated to each group.
Workshops conducted through the Mobile Kitchen and Grill Academy – funded by USDA’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, the National Pork Board, the Beef Checkoff Program and the corn and soybean checkoff programs – are also a prime opportunity to introduce value-added, alternative cuts.
Many of the alternative cuts and variety meats that USMEF promotes during these workshops are demonstrated on the grill and through varied cooking methods such as Crockpots and Instapots.
“To further support what we demonstrate to importers and their customers through the Academy, we are able to use the mobile kitchens and grills in local consumer-facing events such as cooking demonstrations, promotions and contests for targeted cuts,” says Rodriguez. “The outdoor events we conduct with these mobile kitchens are perfect for social media promotion and we are reaching more consumers than ever.”