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Chilean company Agrosuper finds growth in Puerto Rico

Agrosuper executives (from left) Renato Barthel, commercial manager, Sébastien Leroux, global brands manager, and Juan Ignacio Silva, sales director, USA & Caribbean, discuss the company’s track record and future in Puerto Rico.

Chilean protein exporter Agrosuper has been doing business in the Puerto Rico food industry since 2006, when it began providing cuts of meat to a local distributor. Since then, company sales have multiplied five-fold, selling nearly 17 million pounds of protein products this year.

In a meeting with members of the media, Agrosuper executives said some of the products offered in this market, mainly to the retail sector, are chicken, pork, turkey, breaded forms, and salmon. Today, 95 percent of Agrosuper’s sales come from that sector, as the company has presence in most local supermarket shelves.

“Our entry to Puerto Rico was possible thanks to a great distributor who believed in our product. The results are unquestionably great,” said Juan Ignacio Silva, sales director of Agrosuper for the U.S. and Caribbean region, referring to the company’s partnership with distributor Northwestern Selecta.

On a monthly basis, Agrosuper averages sales of about 1.4 million pounds of products — spearheaded by chicken breast cuts — and the growth of its brand has generated more than 100 jobs at Northwestern Selecta, a company that employs about 500 people.

Agrosuper’s sales have been fueled by the fact that 9 out of 10 Puerto Rican shoppers include chicken on their grocery list, executives said.

During the interview, company officials said Agrosuper’s products have been well-received in spite of the difficult economic situation, as they offer consumers a high quality frozen product, “facilitating big quantity purchases and easier handling of the meat, without sacrificing taste or freshness.”

“We supervise our product through all its stages: breeding, manufacturing, distributing and merchandising. This enables a highly sanitary handling process, ensuring, at the same time, the performance of our production centers,” said Sébastien Leroux, Agrosuper’s international head of marketing and exports.

Looking to maintain its growth curve, Agrosuper plans to introduce new products to the market next year, such as turkey, chicken rings, fun-shaped nuggets, and new cuts of chicken.

In addition, the company plans to boosts its local marketing investments, focusing on Puerto Rico’s mother figure, which they said “knows best.”

“More than in any other place, in Puerto Rico mothers are wise and possess an acute sixth sense when dealing with their children. We want to recognize the value they bring to each family,” said Leroux.

The “Nadie sabe más que mami” (“Nobody knows more than mom”) campaign will cover points-of-sale and, eventually, the media.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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