Mexican company Promega UK believes the huge demand for Mexican cuisine in the UK could be successfully transferred to the fresh produce sector
The UK’s taste for Mexican food appears to be insatiable. With every passing week, it seems another Mexican restaurant opens and another Mexico-themed product extension hits supermarket shelves.
Leading Mexican fresh fruit exporter Promega is aiming to tap into this burgeoning demand by bringing Mexican innovations to UK supermarket shelves. Spearheaded by its British subsidiary, Promega UK, the company is focusing on delivering authentic Mexican flavours to the UK market, while also meeting demand for convenient, easy-to-prepare options.
With this in mind, Promega UK last year launched a new, innovative ‘Guacamole Kit’, which includes all the freshly-packed ingredients necessary to prepare guacamole, including avocados, lime, tomato, onion and chilies – all produced in Mexico.
“There’s a lot of interest in how to prepare authentic guacamole in the UK and for this we promise to deliver the real taste of Mexican guacamole,” says Promega UK’s Ana Pickering.
The Guacamole Kit is just one of a range of products that Promega is seeking to promote in the UK to capitalise on the continuing and rising interest in Mexican food.
Pickering says the company has experienced a busy 12 months as a result of growing demand for Mexican products in the UK; promoting avocados, lemons, mangoes, papayas, berries, table grapes, as well as several different varieties of chile.
“We have managed to introduce some of our star products to the English palate and above all have taken advantage of the huge public interest in authentic flavours and fresh food from Mexico that meet all safety standards,” she says.
“We have also entered the superfoods market, which is very much in fashion in the fresh produce sector.”
A relatively new company, Promega’s UK subsidiary has focused over the last 12 months on strengthening its working arrangements with existing clients, while also forging relationships with new contacts.
“Having the opportunity to be the first Mexican company to import such a variety of fresh products has been a unique experience,” says Pickering.
“There has been a 60% increase over the past year in the market for Mexican food and the good news is there are many independent chains that are demonstrating the variety of dishes and ingredients that we have. It has been a pleasure to watch this phenomenon grow in this country.”
Although Mexico itself is Promega’s principal market, followed closely by Japan where the company exports avocados, the UK is a growing destination for the firm’s fresh products.
Promega’s objective, says Pickering, is that the name of Mexico as a fresh produce brand achieves recognition at a worldwide level and especially in London, where the company hopes its success will mark a watershed moment in its expansion across Europe.
“The UK is a growth market for us where we are hoping that with the expansion of Mexican food, Londoners will be interested in high quality products with a natural Mexican taste,” says Pickering.
“As a financial centre, London attracts a great deal of attention from all over Europe and once we have consolidated our presence in London we would like to move into other markets, such as the Nordic countries, which also value high quality products.”
For Pickering, Promega’s key selling point when it comes to the UK and other European markets is the idea that consumers will be able to take away “a piece of Mexico in their hands”.
“Every product is selected with care and revised one by one in the packhouse to ensure the highest level of quality, while we offer our clients the freshest products without delays because our shipments are made by air meaning they arriving faster at the destination,” she says.
“With our range of truly Mexican products, we effectively lead the market on many occasions in terms of single requests from clients that require exotic or special products for an event.”
Looking ahead to the rest of 2015, Pickering says Promega UK will continue to look for strategies that enable it to sell on a greater scale to major clients.
The company also hopes to bring more fresh, exotic products and varieties to the UK market, which they are looking to showcase to London-based chefs, so they can learn about new flavours and see the variety that Mexico can offers in terms of production and quality.
By the close of 2015, Pickering adds that Promega UK is confident it will ink sales agreements with some of the largest fresh produce distributors in the country, while top chefs will also be invited to product demonstration workshops during the course of the year.
Promega UK exhibited at the London Produce Show and Conference 2015 at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on June 3-5