business

E-commerce boosts Uruguayan beef sales in China

MONTEVIDEO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — Uruguayan beef is increasingly being sold via e-commerce transactions in China, where it seeks to position itself as a premium product.

Influencers’ and chefs’ live streaming tastings that can be watched on smartphones are part of the promotional tools of Uruguay’s National Meat Institute (INAC).

“More than 25 percent of beef purchases in China are made via e-commerce, and in two years that is expected to reach 50 percent,” Lautaro Perez Rocha, INAC’s marketing manager, told Xinhua recently.

For China’s Singles Day on Nov. 11 — a type of Black Friday meets Valentines — Uruguay’s main export product was available on the premium food channels of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Tmall platform, which has some 730 million active users.

It was the third campaign on Tmall in just over a year, in addition to a campaign at another e-commerce giant, Jingdong (JD.com).

“Our first goal is to position the Uruguayan Beef brand,” said Perez, adding the next step will be to “spur sales through retail stores.”

With that goal in mind, beef tail and hoof, highly desired by Chinese consumers, were some of the products featured during the launch of Uruguayan Beef at stores, which was broadcast live to 1.5 million people.

Uruguayan Beef ads gathered 65 million views and a very strong increase in sales at participating stores.

For Uruguay, China, which this year captured 45 percent of the nation’s exports, “is a key market” and “the most attractive because of its size and growth, and because it needs to import meat,” said Perez.

In addition, it has a variety of regional cuisines and each uses different parts of the animal.

In terms of e-commerce, China “is absolutely way ahead of the rest of the world,” and that “is enhanced by its scale and its different cuisines,” said the INAC official.

Uruguay, the second smallest country in South America, boasts natural open-air cattle raising that uses no hormones and features a pioneering livestock traceability system.

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