As part of its strategy to increase U.S. pork sales in Mexico’s retail sector, USMEF organized U.S. grilled pork promotions at 22 H-E-B supermarkets in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. The campaign, funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Pork Checkoff, included in-store demonstrations and tasting samples of grilled U.S. pork loin chops and ribs.
H-E-B, which has 51 locations across Mexico, is one of the regional supermarket chains USMEF is working with to help educate Mexican consumers about the quality and value of U.S. pork.
“The strategy at H-E-B was to reach out to supermarket customers and share with them information about the product, with the ultimate goal being to further penetrate the retail market,” said USMEF Marketing Director Gerardo Rodriguez. “Talking to the Mexican shoppers and offering them ideas for preparing and cooking pork is one step, then giving them actual samples and letting them taste U.S. pork that has been properly cooked is the perfect next step. The promotions were an effort to capture the shoppers’ attention and let them experience the product firsthand.”
During the promotions, USMEF set up a booth and U.S. pork banners in the meat department of each supermarket. Customers were able to stop at the USMEF display and learn about the attributes and characteristics of U.S. pork. Brochures with recipes and suggestions on how to cook U.S. pork were distributed while U.S. pork loin chops, baby back ribs and St. Louis ribs and were grilled and handed out for the customers to sample.
Sales of U.S. pork increased at each of the participating supermarkets during the campaign, Rodriguez noted.
Expanding U.S. pork sales in the retail sector is part of USMEF’s effort to continue the positive momentum it has built in Mexico. Final results from 2016 show U.S. pork export volume to Mexico was 730,316 metric tons, a 2 percent gain over 2015. Export value totaled $1.36 billion, up 7 percent year-over-year and the second-highest on record, trailing only the $1.56 billion mark reached in 2014.