As pork consumption rebounds in Mexico the U.S. pork industry continues its work with processors and retailers to develop branded U.S. pork products for consumers. Two new products have been developed with processor Embutidos Xalostoc and are available to consumers under its Vallecarne brand.
"There are opportunities to position U.S. pork as a nutritious, center-of-the-plate option and one of our strategies is to foster development of branded U.S. products," says Gerardo Rodriguez, regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic.
Rodriguez points to growing consumer interest in new recipes for at-home preparation and says branded pork products will help demonstrate to processors and retailers the profit potential of promoting high-quality U.S. pork online and at the retail meat case.
Central to the product development program are workshops that USMEF initiates with processors to develop new ideas for selling pork to consumers.
"We discuss market trends at these workshops," says Lorenzo Elizalde, USMEF-Mexico marketing director. "We review consumers' growing interest in convenience and nutrition, and we share ideas about packaging, marketing and the feasibility of new products."
Following development of the new products with Embutidos Xalostoc – Boston Cap and Cecina Adobada — USMEF utilized funding from Iowa Soybean Association and USDA's ATP and MAP programs to initiate social media campaigns with influencers and conduct tasting demonstrations at Superama and Walmart Express outlets.
Kitchen workshops were also made available to consumers at a culinary center in Mexico City, giving them a chance to sample and learn how to properly cook the new products.
"With no country-of-origin laws in place in Mexico, U.S. pork branded products help us differentiate U.S. pork and build consumer demand," adds Rodriguez.