Chilean soccer star to kick off new campaign featuring salmon

Chilean soccer star Alexis Sánchez is the face of the “Unboxing Chile” campaign.

ProChile has secured Chilean soccer star Alexis Sánchez as the face of its “Unboxing Chile” campaign, which seeks to promote attributes of the country’s salmon and other national products abroad.

The Chilean professional soccer player, known as "El Niño Maravilla" or “The Wonder Boy,” is a forward for the Italian soccer team Inter Milan and for Chile’s national team. He set a record in 2011 upon signing for Barcelona in a transfer worth EUR 37.5 million (USD 44.7 million), making him the most-expensive Chilean player ever.

In its campaign involving Sánchez, ProChile – which is part of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is in charge of driving exports of national goods – aims to establish the country's food offerings as reliable, sustainable, and high-quality, in an effort to drive sales and support economic reactivation.

“We hope to be able to transmit the virtuous experience of Chilean food products to the world, especially its salmon, and surprise our consumers with sustainable products of excellent quality,” SalmonChile President Arturo Clément said in a press release.

SalmonChile said responsible aquaculture and animal proteins from sustainable food-growing operations, including salmon farming, will form part of the solution for feeding a growing planet moving forward. According to United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, there will be more than 10 billion people on Earth by 2050, an increase of one-third over today’s levels.

Besides Chilean salmon, which is exported to more than 100 international markets, other products promoted through the Unboxing Chile campaign include wine, fruit, and meat. The campaign will look to highlight the different sensations produced when opening a box of national foods, which attest to Chile’s diverse experiences.

The Unboxing Chile announcement came during the launch of a new international seafood business meeting, e-Enexpro. The virtual event, organized by ProChile, included 400 bilateral meetings between representatives from 30 countries. ProChile said it expected approximately USD 150 million (USD 126 million) in business to come out of the event, benefitting more than 80 domestic companies and affecting 19,000 jobs.

During the event, panelists discussed a variety of trends brought on by the pandemic, including more robust e-commerce activity, a growing interest in healthier food, and an increase in at-home salmon consumption.

In reviewing U.S. consumer trends in an e-Enexpro plenary session, ProChile Commercial Director Christophe Desplas, who is based in New York, U.S.A., highlighted Chile’s position as the third-largest seafood supplier for the U.S. Chile’s exports to the U.S. have surpassed USD 2 billion (EUR 1.7 billion) and a 12 percent market share, which Desplas deemed “relevant and with an upward trend thanks to the benefits of seafood.”

Desplas said strong growth in the supermarket segment has benefitted Chilean suppliers in the U.S., as has a “giant channel” opening up in e-commerce, allowing companies to sell their products through online marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart.

General trends to watch, according to Desplas, include the entry of seafood into the millennial segment; seafood delicacies as a new alternative for consumption; the pescetarian diet; seaweed’s inclusion in diets; and ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products.

In a separate session, China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance Vice President Yaping Zhu identified opportunities and trends for Chile to market seafood in China, noting some similarities with the U.S. market.

Zhu said the most-important products for China, in descending order, are fishmeal, used principally in aquaculture; algae, generally used as a healthy alternative in chemical products; and salmon “which is very high-quality and we are seeing if we can have more opportunities to work together on this product.”

E-commerce is going strong in China, Zhu said, calling attention to relatively recent changes in consumption “since in China, most of the women work, so they need products that are easier to cook.”

“Delivery also works and there is a very interesting concept, different from others, which is that people with more education have a greater tendency to observe Chinese traditions that focus on health, so they pay more to have higher-quality and fresh products,” Zhu said. “We are convinced that there is a great space for the consumption of seafood in China and when the coronavirus situation is better controlled, we will have more opportunity to work together face-to-face.”

Photo courtesy of SalmonChile


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