DENVER – Most of the US Meat Export Federation’s retail demand-building activities in Mexico, the largest destination for US beef exports, are conducted with large, national retailers and distributors in major metropolitan areas. But as the US beef industry works to expand its presence in Mexico, the Beef Checkoff Program recently authorized USMEF to launch a new outreach campaign with regional supermarket chains in the northern region of the country.

Ranging from 170 store locations to 34 locations, these supermarket chains are of significant size – so they constitute an important target market for US beef. Chains participating in the program include Casa Ley (170 stores), Calimax (72 stores), Sante Fe (60 stores) and Super Del Norte (34 stores).

The outreach campaign currently consists of staff training and development conducted through the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director. These programs will help the regional supermarket chains modernize, expand and improve their meat departments – which, in time, will make these store locations better candidates for aggressive, point-of-sale promotion of US beef.

US beef and beef variety meat exports to Mexico through the first half of 2011, totaled nearly 280 million lbs. valued at $475 million – an increase of 8 percent in volume and 25 percent in value over the same period in 2010.