to the USA
By Sherrylou Marzo, Sr Global Brands Area Sales & Marketing Manager
The Global Brands Team flew to the United States last December for a Roadshow to showcase unMeat. There were several stops in the itinerary with the objective of introducing our unMeat brand and products, the first being in Los Angeles. We had several demos and were able to present to both Seafood City and Island Pacific-- two of the biggest Filipino retailers in the country. Both were impressed with the different applications that can be done using the meatless products. Part of our very own Chef Donna’s menu were Arroz Ala Cubana using unMeat Meat-Free Giniling, Tuna Sisig and Lumpiang Shanghai using unMeat Fish-Free Tuna Hot & Spicy and in brine, and fried rice using unMeat Meat-Free Luncheon. On top of these, they were also able to taste the unMeat Meat-Free nuggets, sausages, and burgers.
As a testament to how good the product is, the owner of Island Pacific, Nino Jefferson Lim, immediately approved the listing of the entire unMeat line and even proposed to do a product highlight in their stores. The General Manager of Seafood City, Juvy Seltzer, and everyone in their office were also blown away by the unMeat product range and couldn’t believe that all were meat-free.
The next destination was Chicago where our audience was our midwest broker, Hanson Faso, and KeHe, one of the biggest national distributors in the US. Hanson Faso was also impressed with the different unMeat products that were presented. This time, Chef Donna prepared tacos using unMeat Meat-Free Giniling, tuna sandwiches and tuna sisig using unMeat Fish-Free Tuna, and 100% plant-based hamburger using unMeat Meat-Free Burger Patties. We also had them taste some of the new unMeat products such as Meat-Free Pizzas, Meat-Free Chicken Patties, and Meat Free-Sliders. Even their Sales Team was able to taste the different products which would motivate them to push and advertise the unMeat line to their respective accounts. For the presentation to KeHe, Greg Banzon himself and our U.S. team Patrick Baskin and Bambi Defensor were the ones who presented. They brought with them cold sandwiches (tuna wraps using unMeat Fish-Free Tuna and luncheon meat sandwiches using unMeat Meat-Free Luncheon) for the mini demo. The meeting went well resulting in a closed deal with the distributor.
To conclude the US Roadshow was the 2021 Plant Based World Conference and Expo with more than 3,100 attendees and 200 exhibitors and sponsors showcasing plant-based product innovations. The event took place last December 9 to 10, 2021 at Javits Center in New York. It was a successful Food Show for us since we were able to meet a lot of inquiries from brokers, food service customers, retailers, distributors, plant-based manufacturers, OEM customers, suppliers, PR agencies, and writers. We not only got inquiries from the US, but also interested clients from Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Chef Nicole Ponseca, with the assistance of Chef Donna, did a live cooking demo and the sampling of the different unMeat products really sold like hotcakes. A lot of the people that tasted unMeat were really impressed and looked for the plant-based tuna because they heard that it tastes the best and like real tuna. We also showcased the unMeat Meat-Free Luncheon and Burger Style Luncheon in rectangular cans that if launched in the US and tastes similar to Spam, it would definitely be a game changer.
All in all, the team was able to achieve its goals in travelling to the US for the unMeat Roadshow. Despite the risk of the pandemic, it was still definitely worth it. Led by Greg Banzon, the whole team is really very satisfied with the outcome of the trip and the success in making the unMeat brand known across the US market.