USSEC Conducts Promotional Campaigns for Soybean Oil in Costa Rica and Guatemala
- General News
USSEC’s implementation of soybean oil promotions in Costa Rica and Guatemala to encourage greater consumption of soybean oil is a success.
Costa Rica turned to other regions to source soybeans for crush in the past couple of years when the U.S. had a smaller soybean supply. In addition, the entrance of South American refined and packaged oil and the increased presence of palm oil to the Costa Rican market made that market increasingly competitive. In recent years, Guatemala, a producer of palm oil, had been increasing the refining of palm oil at soybean oil’s expense.
The USSEC Americas region’s soybean oil strategy, “Soy is Health,” communicated a healthy message to various programs in the larger countries that consume U.S. soybean oil which have been most affected by competing oils.
In Costa Rica, USSEC conducted a generic campaign along with major soybean oil refiners touting activities that included educating consumers about the benefits of soy through community events such as running races, in-store promotions for “pull-through” at key retail stores, and an outdoor campaign that utilized billboards and buses.
In Guatemala, USSEC worked with soybean oil refiners on similar educational activities such as community events, gymnasiums and assisting “pull-through” at point of purchase in key retail stores in and around Guatemala City
The promotional campaign in both countries took place in August and September.
In Costa Rica, results showed a 10 percent increase in U.S. soybean oil consumption vs. the same period last year. Costa Rica imported 95,200 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans for crush in FY14. Just two months into the current fiscal year, the major importer INOLASA is already ahead of that amount of U.S. soybeans with current and future sales of 112,500 MT.
Results in Guatemala boasted an increase of 18 percent in soybean oil consumption vs. the same time last year with an increase of 25 percent for the brand promoted by the Guatemalan refiner. In FY14, Guatemala increased its imports of U.S. soybean oil 292 percent (31,900 MT) vs. the previous year FY13 (10,900 MT). These excellent results have raised Guatemala to the 7th largest importer of U.S. soybean oil in the world, up from 16th the previous year.