Iquana: Another Other White Meat?

Apr 15, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The Pork Producers need not be too worried but another white (dark-pink actually) meat is gaining popularity, as the number of immigrants from Central America continues to grow.

The Washington Post reports “Central Americans hungry for a taste of home” are shelling out $12.50 for a pound of iquana meat. The wholesale price is reported to be $9.00.

“Traditionally, iguana meat is cut up; mixed with water, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic and traditional Central American herbs; and simmered for two hours, creating a thick stew.”

Moderator’s Comment: How do retailers stay current
with immigration, other population shifts and local tastes to better source
product desired by various customer bases?

Iquana is the latest meat to taste just like chicken.
Local beliefs hold that it is the cure for what ails you (a Central American
alternative to chicken soup) plus an aphrodisiac to boot.

Understanding what your customer base wants is essential
to growing any business. Disconnects cost businesses customers and profit.

Here’s a local case in point: Taylor Ham (pork roll) out
of Trenton, NJ is a product that many people from the northern parts of the
state discovered while vacationing at the New Jersey Shore.

Taylor Ham’s fans expanded from its base in the southern
part of the state and the Philadelphia area to the greater NY metro region.
Today, Taylor Ham is the best-selling hot breakfast sandwich in many (if not
most non-Kosher) delis around the state. Walk into McDonald’s, Burger King,
Dunkin’ Donuts or other chain that sells hot breakfast sandwiches and guess
what you will not find on the menu.

Time-strapped consumers commuting into New York in the
morning do not have time to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a coffee and then head
to a deli for a Taylor Ham sandwich. Every time a consumer chooses the sandwich
over the coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts loses two sales. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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