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MOTHER'S DAY PROMOTION UNDERWAY IN MEXICO

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) kicked off its popular Mother's Day promotion Monday, Mar. 5, in Mexico City. The fifth-annual promotion encourages retail consumers to buy U.S. beef and pork by offering two tickets to a Mother's Day event when a specific amount of meat is purchased.

“This type of promotion is effective in building demand for U.S. beef and pork products among consumers in Mexico's dynamic supermarket sector, which is a huge marketing channel for our products,” said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director of Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

USMEF designs this annual promotion around mothers, who do most of the family food shopping. The promotion also enhances working relationships with leading Mexico City retailers in efforts to increase U.S. red meat sales. Last year's promotion increased retail store purchases of U.S. meat by 25 to 30 percent.

Some 120 Commercial Mexicana, Gigante and Chedraui stores in the Mexico City area are participating in this event. Forty additional stores have been added this year to extend the promotion's outreach. The promotion runs from Mar. 5 through May 5.

“We do a lot of work with large retail chains in the major cities,” said Russell. “We work with the meat department professionals to conduct promotions like Mother's Day since educating consumers is very important in growing demand for U.S. beef and pork.”

Consumers receive a sticker for each kilogram of U.S. beef or pork they purchase. Once 15 stickers are collected, they can be redeemed for two tickets to an entertainment show celebrating Mother's Day at the historic Metropolitan Theater in Mexico City. Two shows will be held to accommodate 6,400 consumers.

This year's show features Yahir, a popular singer, who won a contest in Mexico similar to American Idol. USMEF also will present information on the nutrition and cooking methods of U.S. red meat.

Every year the USMEF Mother's Day promotion gets bigger and better, and is becoming more recognized among Mexican consumers.

“Consumers always comment on how they look forward to this event each year,” said USMEF Retail Manager Gustavo Castaño. “And since retail stores are the main distributors of U.S. meat, the Mother's Day promotion is an especially effective way of encouraging Mexican customers to buy U.S. pork and beef.”

Banners advertising the Mother's Day promotion will be displayed prominently at store entrances and in meat departments.

In 2006, Mexico led all markets in volume of U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports at 356,418 metric tons (mt), an eight percent increase over 2005. Value increased nine percent to $557.9 million. Mexico was also the No. 1 market for U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports, increasing 32 percent in volume to 371,087 mt and 33 percent in value to $1.17 billion compared to 2005.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, lamb, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.

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