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U.S. Pork Gains Traction in Chile’s Retail Sector

Published: Jan 23, 2015

Newspaper ads promote U.S. pork in Tottus supermarkets in Chile

During the recent holiday season, USMEF partnered with popular retail chains to promote U.S. pork in Chile – Tottus-Chile and Walmart (which is known as Lider in Chile). USMEF's participation in these promotional activities was supported by the Pork Checkoff and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).

Tottus teamed with importer Grupo Punto Sur to develop a promotional campaign that ran in 49 stores in Chile. U.S. pork spare ribs were the featured item, with Tottus offering a 20 percent discount throughout December. The promotion was featured in store brochures and in popular newspapers such as La Tercera and Ultimas Noticias. The U.S. pork promotion was also featured in television commercials that ran between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31.

U.S. pork is also being showcased in 140 Walmart stores throughout Chile. This year-round promotion features cuts that are new to the Chilean market and have rapidly gained popularity, including spare ribs, baby back ribs, chops and loins. U.S. pork advertising is prominently featured in aisle end caps throughout the Walmart stores which signs promoting “new American cuts.”

End cap displays promote U.S. pork in Chile’s Walmart stores

Chile is not only self-sufficient in pork production but is also the world’s sixth-largest pork exporter. In order to differentiate U.S. pork and penetrate the Chilean market, retail promotions take a different approach with consumers. Cuts not typically found in Chile are being marketed there, including various styles of ribs and chops. Value-added products such as pulled pork and barbecued ribs are also popular in the Chilean market, particularly because they offer a presentation and flavor profile not commonly found in the market.

“For U.S. pork to be successful in the Chilean market, it has to be presented as a unique alternative to the consumer,” said Jessica Julca, USMEF’s South America representative. “Large meals and special gatherings with friends and family are very popular with Chilean consumers, and they are finding that U.S. pork barbecue is a tasty and unique offering for this type of event.”

As recently as five years ago, U.S. pork exports to Chile were minimal – totaling $2.8 million in 2009. But exports grew steadily in this decade, peaking in 2013 at $61.7 million. Exports slowed to some degree in 2014, but should total about $55 million when year-end results are available.