Raising awareness of American lobster was on the menu at Mexico City event for HRI decision makers.
Mexico has been identified as a potential growth market for American lobster exports, specifically with the high-end foodservice segment. To raise awareness for value-added American lobster products, Food Export–Northeast’s In-Market Representative in Mexico, Raul Caballero of Mercalimentos Consultores, hosted a first-time American lobster tasting and educational event on August 23, 2022, in Mexico City.
The event took place at the II Becco Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel. Among the nearly fifty participants were chefs, restaurant owners, food and beverage buyers as well as importers and distributors. Attendees were treated to an incredible tasting of American lobster prepared by Barton Seaver, a sustainable seafood expert and chef. The goal of the evening was to educate chefs that American lobster products can be a versatile ingredient to add interest, appeal, and value to a menu.
Chef Seaver speaking to attendees about the American lobster dishes created for the event.
Chef Seaver prepared four unique and delicious tasting dishes using pre-cooked and high-pressure processed American lobster meat, claws, and tail meat. As each course reached the table, Chef Seaver would emerge from the kitchen to talk to the group about the ingredients, how each dish was prepared and to answer questions from the participating chefs. The dishes he prepared included:
While Chef Seaver was heating things up in the kitchen, the guests of the event enjoyed a discussion about American lobster with Emily Lane, a member of the Food Export–Northeast seafood team. Lane is extensively knowledgeable about American lobster and Jonah crab and has had many years of hands-on experience marketing these products globally. For the chefs in attendance, she shared information about the industry’s sustainable harvesting practices, production region and provided an overview of the different value-added lobster products highlighting their convenience and consistent quality. Lane, who also had a hand in helping develop Food Export–Northeast’s online American Lobster Buyer’s guide, provided a printed version of the guide translated in Spanish to every guest.
During the evening, the Food Export–Northeast team walked around the tables, to speak with each restauranteur. The feedback about the tasting and use of American lobster products in the kitchen were extremely positive. More than one chef noted that the American lobster value-added ingredients have a definite future in Mexico’s foodservice market. Additional outcomes of the evening included:
Restaurants chains expressed interest in participating in a promotion for American Lobster at their locations. Food Export–Northeast will work closely with these restaurants to help them plan and implement promotions in the coming months.
One importer expressed immediate buying interest and work is being done to finalize the purchase.
A survey of the chefs in attendance detailed their products of greatest interest:
1) Frozen Whole American Lobster (25%)
2) Frozen American Lobster Tails (22%)
3) Claws (22%)
4) Knuckle Meat (15%)
5) Minced Lobster Meat (12%)
6) Leg Meat (4%)
Other markets such as Monterrey, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas were identified to have potential for a similar tasting and educational event.
About Food Export USA–Northeast
With its extensive programs and educational offerings, Food Export USA–Northeast (Food Export–Northeast) is recognized as the preeminent expert and cost-effective resource for Northeast seafood and agricultural suppliers looking to sell their products overseas. Founded in 1973, Food Export–Northeast is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with its 10 member states’ agricultural promotion agencies from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, to facilitate trade between suppliers and worldwide importers and to promote the export of food, agricultural and seafood products from those states. Since its founding, the organization has helped Northeast seafood suppliers gain access to a broad range of export markets, supported overseas in-market educational and promotional programs and offers emerging suppliers access to funds to help grow their export business. The organization is funded through the Market Access Program (MAP), administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
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