There was one message the United Soybean Board See for Yourself participants heard last week as the group went on tours in Guadalajara, Mexico - we want more U.S. soybeans.
Francisco De La Torre, the Regional Director for American Soybean Association International Marketing in Mexico, says people in Mexico respect and want the American brand.
"In Latin America everybody is always aware that the U.S. means quality, more consistent quality," De La Torre said. "Some people have tried other products from other parts of the world, particularly soybean meal for example, and we've seen a lot more consistency in the product from the U.S. So we have grabbed onto that reputation that we have for even other products, not just food products, and we are developing the quality of the origin seal that we are going to be promoting and emphasizing the origin of soy products as U.S. origin because people do prefer soy products from the U.S."
De La Torre says Mexico is a good market for U.S. soybean products including soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal.
"The market here is growing significantly, we're seeing livestock production, particularly poultry, increasing in Latin America," De La Torre said. "Those species consume a lot of soybean meal. That's on the animal side. On the human side we see a lot more awareness on the health issues of consuming oils and fats so we are working with companies here to develop more healthy products. Soybean oil has a 44% market share in Mexico and throughout the region it's about 40%."
De Le Torre says as people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of soy in their diet they are starting to buy and make more soy-based foods and he feels the soy market in Mexico will continue to grow.
Participants of the See for Yourself Tour had the opportunity to visit a Wal-Mart and Sam's Club in Guadalajara to see firsthand the number of products available on the shelves that contain soy.