Chefs and Nutritionists Program Ramps Up in Mexico
USMEF is expanding the chef and nutritionist consultation program in Mexico to capitalize on greater opportunities for face-to-face engagement at the retail point of sale in 2022 and increasing interest and online engagement about food nutrition.
With funding from USDA’s Agricultural Trade Promotion Program and Market Access Program, the Beef Checkoff Program, Texas Beef Council and National Pork Board, USMEF met with member suppliers and Japanese importers, introduced new beef and pork dishes and presented promotional plans for the coming year. “The return of in-person meetings is so important in Japan and the enthusiasm for this year’s show was tremendous,” reported Takemichi Yamashoji, USMEF Japan director.
The program, funded by Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Beef Checkoff Program, was developed to support messaging strategies about the nutritional benefits of U.S. pork and beef by sharing health-related information directly to consumers in retail stores and through online consultations.
Chefs and nutritionists are positioned near meat cases to promote U.S. pork and beef, provide general nutrition information and share recipe cards. For consumers who purchase U.S. product, the chefs and nutritionists offer individualized education sessions by collecting health information and tailoring the nutritional benefits of U.S. red meat to each individual.
The retail program is leveraged online through a nutrition website where consumers can register for online consultations at no cost. Nutrition messaging and digital nutrition seminar sign-ups are also supported and promoted through social media.
“The pandemic accelerated a growing interest among consumers in health and nutrition,” says Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF director of marketing for Mexico, Central America and Dominican Republic. “There is much greater awareness about the value of protein and the nutritional benefits of red meat.”
Whether in-store or online, interactions are structured so consumers also learn about the attributes of high-quality U.S. pork and beef and are introduced to proper cooking techniques and recipes for different cuts. On a monthly basis, chefs see a range of 300-450 visitors online, while those deployed in-store reach 400-600. Meanwhile, online nutritional experts typically consult with 1,400-2,000 consumers; those stationed at the point of sale interact with 700-1,000 shoppers.