USDBC Launches New Central American Dry Bean Promotion Campaign

June 20, 2017

By: Ellen Levinson, USDBC International Representative

Under a USDA Emerging Markets Program, USDBC is increasing the visibility of U.S. dry beans in DR-CAFTA countries. By 2020 those countries will have phased out tariffs on U.S. dry beans. USDBC has ramped up efforts to introduce consumers, retailers and food manufacturers to U.S. dry beans. Our strategy is to expand the types of beans and bean products consumed (including ready-to-eat and new value-added foods) and to assure each country fully implements DR-CAFTA provisions. As always, we are grateful to our partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service that allows us to engage in these critical initiatives. These are some of the promotional activities we’ve been engaged in:

Sabor USA and Frijol Americano
This year’s first two Central American events were conducted under the banner of “Sabor USA,” a promotion program originated by the U.S. Embassy, Bogota to publicize the high standards of quality and freshness of U.S. food products and how to prepare them in combination with local ingredients. Sabor USA declared May 2017 “Bean Month” and featured U.S. dry beans–including recipes, nutritional information and sales points–on its website and social media.

Sabor USA

Sabor USA has 15,400 likes on Facebook.

US Dry Beans Featured at Sabor USA Events in El Salvador and Guatemala
USDBC was invited by the U.S. embassies in San Salvador and Guatemala City to participate in their Sabor USA launch events.

Sabor USA Culinary

Two culinary school students accept their awards for the winning dry bean recipe, a black bean burger. Seen behind them are USDBC Americas Representative: Roman Kutnowski on right & Sean Cox U.S. Agricultural Attache on left.

In San Salvador USDBC’s participation included a booth with renowned local chef Diego Beltran, who gained recognition in the country after winning the reality show contest “Top Chef.” For four hours Mr. Beltran shared tips on how to prepare innovative recipes with U.S. beans, describing his “secret” ingredients and preparation methods and pointing out the outstanding qualities and taste of U.S .beans.

USDBC San Salvador

Chef Diego Beltran, who gained recognition in the country after winning the reality show contest “Top Chef,” prepared dishes and interacted with event-goers for 4 hours at the USDBC booth.

In Guatemala City USDBC teamed up with local chef Eduardo Gonzalez, a former culinary school instructor who has a cooking show on Guatevision, the number one cable channel in the country.

USDBC Guatemala

The USDBC booth with Chef Eduardo Gonzalez and helper Isabella Chocano

One of his chief avocations is helping caterers and restaurants introduce new food products and recipes, which he is applying to US dry beans. Mr. Gonzalez prepared and described recipes using black and red beans on the front stage, incorporating information about the attributes of U.S. beans.

"Todo con Frijol"

“Todo con Frijol” (Everything with Beans), a booklet featuring recipes by top chefs who participated with USDBC in the Sabor USA El Salvador and Guatemala events.

Posted in: Bean Bulletin, News