With support from the National Pork Board and U.S. Department of Agriculture, USMEF conducted four seminars in Ensenada, Mexico, showcasing U.S. pork loin.
USMEF collaborated with distributor La Canasta to attract a key audience of importers and targeted foodservice and retail buyers to the events. USDA programs supporting this project included the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), the Emerging Markets Program (EMP) and the Quality Samples Program (QSP).
EMP funding helped provide technical assistance, while QSP support allowed for purchase of a container of loins to be used as samples in product demonstrations. The samples were then used by importers to encourage product development across their customer base. Fresh bone-in loin primals were fabricated into sub-primals, then further broken down into retail and foodservice cuts.
“Attendees were extremely interested in the cuts presented, especially the T- bone, ribeye and thinly sliced pork loin,” said USMEF corporate chef German Navarrete, who gave participants advice and suggestions on foodservice and retail merchandising.
“Response was excellent, with everyone who participated in the seminars taking physical samples with them. Catering companies were especially excited about incorporating pork loin cuts into their banquet offerings.”
Six separate dishes, ranging from Mexican and Asian concepts, were prepared and served buffet-style, highlighting the versatility of U.S. pork loin. Navarrete also presented gastronomic tips for pork loin and participants learned about the nutrimental attributes and benefits of U.S. pork. A total of 80 buyers attended, with each seminar limited to 20 participants due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Ensenada seminars were part of a larger initiative to provide technical education and develop demand for the pork loin sub-primal, an underutilized item in Mexico. Additional USMEF marketing efforts will focus on the loin and sirloin, rib end, riblets, back ribs and tenderloin.