Ambassadors Spread the Word about U.S. Pork in the Caribbean
The pork industry is teaming up with leading chefs and social media influencers to position U.S. pork as a top-quality option for consumers.
Continued growth in U.S. pork exports to the Caribbean has accelerated marketing efforts with consumers and the trade. Following export growth of 32% in volume and 51% in value in 2021, U.S. pork exports to the Caribbean region increased 40% to 51,748 mt through June 2022 with value increasing 45% to $137.6 million, according to according to data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
Influencers and cooking competitions such as The Great Island Cookoff provide opportunities to demonstrate new ideas for cooking top-quality U.S. pork.
“With greater availability of high-quality U.S. pork in the region, we are working closely with top chefs and influencers to promote its many wonderful attributes,” says Liz Wunderlich, USMEF Caribbean representative. “We are focusing on taste and nutrition and teaching the trade and consumers new methods of preparing meals with top-quality pork.”
Growing interest in health and nutrition has translated to greater demand for new meal ideas, which island consumers seek on social media. Wunderlich highlights the popularity of grilling and barbecuing as avenues for consumers to learn how to cook high-quality pork.
“Grain-fed U.S. pork is a much better product than what most people are used to eating on the islands and grilling is an excellent way to demonstrate a greater taste experience,” says Wunderlich.
The educational outreach is also targeted at local chefs as there has been tremendous turnover in the industry during the past two years. USMEF is publishing a “Contemporary Caribbean Textbook,” in collaboration with food scholars and well-known regional chefs. The textbook, which will be used in culinary schools throughout the region, includes cooking videos and cutting demonstrations along with ideas and recipes for U.S. pork.
Wunderlich is also leveraging the superior taste and nutrition of U.S. pork through promotional partnerships with fitness influencers such as Bowflex Barbie, aka The Fit Foodie. Health and fitness is helping drive consumer behavior on everyday decisions, says Wunderlich, and that includes daily meal preparation. Funding support is provided by USDA’s ATP and MAP programs and the soybean checkoff program.