When the final shipments are tallied, 2021 will be a record year for pork exports to Mexico, besting the previous high mark of a $1.5 billion in 2017. Through November, according to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, exports to Mexico totaled nearly 795,000 metric tons, up 29% from a year ago and gaining fast on the previous annual volume record of 802,000 mt.
USMEF Regional Director Geraldo Rodriguez says the organization's promotions with big box retailers are not only reaching end consumers in Mexico, but also restaurant operators who purchase meat through these stores.
"Number one is the expansion on the different channels that we are promoting in working in Mexico, especially the retail sector. The clubs, which is Sam's Club, Costco, City Club, among many others, they are supplying the food service in that family-owned type of restaurants, so it's a good channel to promote pork," Rodriguez says. "But at the same time, that recovery in the foodservice, the last 18 months, it has been certainly challenged ... at the same time, it has opened a number of business opportunity for expanding pork in the food service.
"Working with our partners in the home delivery service, pork has been the shining star. But at the same time, we cannot forget about working with the processors in the research and development, which nowadays, we're able to say that we have a certain amount of new products that were not existing early this year."
Following months of pandemic lockdown, Rodriguez says Mexican consumers are also looking to indulge in higher quality products.
"They say 'I deserve better. I have been in this lockdown for so long, that when I go and do my groceries and I buy my meat, I deserve better quality, I receive a better option for me and my family,'" Rodriguez says. "There is more and more interest on trying new dishes, in learning about new ways, new techniques. Why is that? Because not only the attributes of the product, but also the fact that we have been doing joint ventures with kitchen appliances such as Ninja, such as airfryer, such as instant pots, that we can educate the consumer about new ways of eating pork."
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. The opinions of this writer are not necessarily those of Farm Progress/Informa.