(Xinhua) – Uruguay is redoubling its promotional efforts in China to boost its beef brand because the Asian country has become a priority market for the South American beef producer, said an industry insider.
Developing brand recognition among Chinese consumers is a “topic that interests us very much,” head of the National Meats Institute (Inac) Federico Stanham sais.
“Countries that have positioned their brand, such as Australia, achieve 25 percent higher sales in meats than we do,” said Stanham.
“Led by Inac, Uruguay has since April of this year launched a strong promotional campaign in China on social networks, at points of sale and at food distributors and producers,” he said.
The campaign, designed to make the “Uruguay brand” better known in China, a destination for Uruguay’s some 60 percent of beef exports, should “continue for several years to make us recognisable,” said Stanham.
Already, the campaign “has been seen more than 100 million times on social networks. That’s very significant”, said the industry insider.
For producers and exporters, “China as a market has several advantages: it has so many different regional cuisines and Chinese consumers find ways to prepare all of the parts an animal can supply”, said Stanham.
When it comes to beef, for example, the Asian market “demands all of the various cuts. That’s very beneficial because all of the production can be placed in China,” he said.
To satisfy China’s growing appetite for beef, Uruguay “has diverted its trade flow from traditional markets such as Europe, Chile, the United States, Israel and Russia”, said Stanham.
The Asian market is seeing “a rise in beef consumption,” whereas the traditional markets are either holding steady or seeing a decline, he added.
So far this year, Uruguay has exported 446,000 tons of beef, generating revenue of 1.724 million U.S. dollars. Of that total, China purchased 294,000 tons worth 1.012 million dollars.