Chile’s seafood promotion board is targeting a very specific area of the United States in its latest campaign: its middle.
The “Chile on Board” campaign runs through 9 November in all of Giant Eagle’s 200 stores throughout the U.S. states of Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The promoted items include fresh and frozen salmon fillets, frozen mussels, ready-to-eat salmon products, and other value-added products.
“The products included are key to showcasing the diverse uses of Chilean seafood as well as to allow for consumers to learn a series of new recipes that they can try at home using Chilean products,” ProChile Trade Representative Alexander Grabois told SeafoodSource.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.-based Giant Eagle is ranked on Forbes's top 40 private corporations, with approximately USD 10 billion (EUR 10.2 billion) in annual sales coming from its more than 470 stores, most located in the regions being targeted by ProChile for its new campaign.
ProChile has developed a “very strong and fluid relationship” with Giant Eagle over the past year and wanted to reach consumers and support retailers in U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states, “as the region offers a multitude of potential and growth opportunities,” Grabois said.
“For the Chilean seafood industry, it was of great importance to undertake promotion strategies that differ from the more-traditional coastal markets in the U.S., considering the large consumer base and presence of Chilean products,” Grabois said. “Working on projects such as this will allow for Chile to increase its reach to a key U.S. region.”
Chilean salmon is among Giant Eagle’s most-popular salmon offerings, “providing guests with good quality at a strong value,” Giant Eagle Senior Director of Seafood Rich Castle told SeafoodSource.
“We hope that our promotion will help introduce the product to guests who have not yet tried it,” he said.
ProChile has been looking for ways to create more-intimate partnerships with key stakeholders throughout the U.S., Grabois said.
“In 2022, our flagship project, ‘Chile on Board,’ aimed to help support retailers and partner on initiatives that allow us to highlight Chilean products already available in the market,” he said. “Giant Eagle is a key partner for ProChile, given [its] high level of commitment to providing the best experience for [ts] providers, customers, and employees while also showing a great willingness to support industries through creative programming and incentives that can educate consumers on a wide range of products.”
As part of the campaign, Giant Eagle is also running an internal promotional sales contest sponsored by ProChile, with the winning team members earning “an educational and fun trip to Chile [to visit] salmon and mussel farms,” Castle said. “The winning seafood team leaders will experience the pristine marine environment and sustainable efforts that will allow them to educate our guests about salmon and mussel farming in Chile,” he added.
Garbois said ProChile is also open to working with other U.S. retailers, “creating collaborations and highlighting the many aspects of Chile’s export portfolio, that can include fresh fruits, wines and piscos, high value-added food and beverage products, and many others,” Grabois said.
The United States was the top destination market for Chilean salmon in 2021, receiving 44 percent, or USD 2 billion (EUR 2.1 billion), of the total USD 5.2 billion (EUR 5.3 billion) in Chilean exports. In the last few years, Chilean salmon firms have taken a number of actions to increase operations in the U.S., including the launch of specialty salmon brands specifically for the market and other campaigns to promote attributes of the country’s salmon.
Chile’s seafood industry is working hard to grow its exports to the U.S., while in terms of Chilean mussels, ProChile Commercial Director Christopher Desplas previously told SeafoodSource that exports of the product have grown at a steady pace in recent years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. market leads the Chilean mussel industry's export growth, with a 3.7 percent annual increase between January and July of 2022, compared with a 12.7 parent drop globally
“In the last four years, we moved from USD 23 million [EUR 23.1 million] to around USD 36 million [EUR 36.1 million] in exports,” Desplas said in March 2022.
Chile saw a recovery in its salmon export value in 2021, resulting in an 18.2 percent year-over-year value increase from 2020, though exports by volume decreased by 7.1 percent to 723,698 metric tons. In the first half of 2022, Chile's farmed finfish exports rose 30 percent year-over-year, hitting USD 3.2 billion (EUR 3.2 billion) in value, according to Chile's Salmon Council.
Chile's monthly salmon exports to the U.S. thus far in 2022 has stretched from a low of 17.7 million kilograms in June to a high of 20.4 million kilograms in May, with monthly value totals ranging from USD 246.5 million (EUR 251.7 million) in January 2022 to a high of USD 290.8 million (EUR 297 million) in May. In July 2022, Chile's U.S. salmon exports were up 9.5 percent by volume and 16 percent by value, according to NOAA trading data.
Photo courtesy of ProChile