The Emotional Campaign That Aims to Awaken “The Iberian Sense” of 111 Million Chinese Consumers

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The influential chef Mario Sandoval (2 Michelin Stars) will be the world ambassador for Iberian Ham

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 25 January 2022 – ASICI, with the support of the EU, launches “Iberian Hams from Spain, Ambassadors of Europe in the World,” the most important international promotional program carried out by the Iberian sector in its history. The historic campaign plans to increase sales by 60% in the Asian giant, bringing the excellence of this cultured product closer to more than 111 million Chinese consumers and 70,000 restaurateurs.

Within the framework of this innovative global project, a battery of sensory, emotional, and spectacular actions will be promoted to show Chinese consumers what it means to enjoy Iberian Ham in all its splendour.


“We need to awaken in Chinese consumers what many already feel with Iberian Ham: the ‘Iberian Sense’. A sense that cannot be described; it can only be lived. Through it you perceive sensations and experiences inherent to our culture, the European one, which lead you to enjoy its sublime flavor. We have a unique product in Europe, with a great story behind it, and we are obliged to share it”. That is how clear and sincere Antonio Prieto, president of ASICI, expresses himself when he talks about Iberian Hams from Spain, Ambassadors of Europe in the World”, the new international promotion campaign with which ASICI seeks to stimulate the entire world to awaken its “Iberian Sense” and enjoy the unmistakable flavor of this cultured food.


A global training, education and information project that aims to consolidate and strengthen the Iberian culture in international markets such as China and encourage companies in the sector to expand worldwide. A vivid concept that invites you to try, to discover, and that marks a new position for the sector.


With this emotional and sensitive initiative, expected to awaken the “Iberian Sense” and conquer more than 300 million consumers in Spain, France, Germany and Mexico, in addition to reaching for the first time a market with enormous potential such as China, where it is expected that the growth rate of marketing is exponential, impacting 111 million consumers and 70,000 restaurateurs.




“Because the Iberian Sense is not only about smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting or touching; it is also about feeling, sharing, enjoying, celebrating and toasting. In this context, an international network made up of influential chefs will bring the benefits of Iberian Ham closer to consumers and will be led by the Spaniard Mario Sandoval (renowned chef at the head of Coque Restaurant’s cuisine) distinguished with two Michelin stars, three Repsol Suns, in addition to a Michelin green star that rewards sustainability in kitchens. With this distinction, the Guide gives visibility to restaurants that share the commitment and strive to innovate through initiatives that preserve the environment. According to Sandoval: “We support the circular economy, reduce waste and encourage both research and awareness. Most of the products are locally sourced.”


The visionary chef from Madrid began to fall in love with cooking and its secrets at the age of ten in the family restaurant, as part of the third generation of chefs to which he belongs to. In 1999 he took over from his father in the gastronomic direction of Coque, together with his brothers. Since then, he has not stopped innovating and reinventing, placing himself at the most vibrant Spanish culinary avant-garde.


Sandoval will be well accompanied by other ambassador chefs like the German Christian Sturm-Willms (head chef of Yunico restaurant, distinguished with a Michelin star), the French Amandine Chaignot (chef of Pouliche restaurant) and the Mexican Carlos Gaytán (first Mexican to receive a Michelin star) Prescribers/influencers who will be in charge of bringing the excellence of this delicacy closer to the consumer and awaken in them the sensations that it transmits: its pleasant and balanced aroma, its intense flavour, its incomparable texture.




“We want to have more than 1,000 European Ham ambassadors around the world, position the product in the 1,000 most important restaurants on the current scene and train more than 1,000 ham cutters. We want to make the world feel, and more specifically prescribers/influencers, consumers and opinion leaders, what many of us already feel with Iberian Ham,” adds Antonio Prieto, president of ASICI.


Within the framework of this innovative global project, a battery of emotional and sensory actions will be promoted to show Chinese consumers what it means to enjoy Iberian Ham in all of its splendour. Powerful promotional and informative actions such as advertising on different supports and media, an ambitious digital campaign on social media networks with foodie influencers who will become speakers of the messages, a multilingual website, event sponsorships and campaign video spots. In addition, a powerful campaign has been devised in television, digital and magazine media, as well as an ambitious social media plan on WeChat.


This project will be complemented, at a global level, with an important plan of specific PR actions in each market and for each target: “tasting table events”, “trade workshop experience”, promotions at points of sale, gastronomic festival route, and the sponsorship of the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Cannes Festival, as well as strategic agreements with the Spanish embassies in each of the target countries and alliances with gastronomic organisations, such as industry associations in China.




Having become the largest consumer market in the world, changes in consumption trends driven by rising per capita income and the development of the middle classes (in 2030, it is expected that 35% of the population, some 480 million people, are considered middle class) have generated a greater propensity to purchase imported products with higher added value.


In this context, exports to China continue to increase, and proof is that in recent years there has been a growing interest in this country for Ham, reflected in the number of companies authorised to export to the country.


According to the data provided by the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute (ICEX), the growing interest of Chinese consumers in Cured Ham has been witnessed. In 2021, sales of Spanish Cured Hams and Shoulders including Iberian and Serrano, grew more than 32.96% in value to exceed 17.35 million euros, and 80.8% in volume reaching 1,059.72 tons (data until October 2021). For Hong Kong, a total volume of 164.04 tons have been reached in 2021, with a sales of 3.89 million euros. These data reflect the excellent trade relations between both countries. This campaign is expected to increase sales figures by 60% over the next three years.


For more information about the campaign, please visit: and .


The Interprofessional Association of the Iberian Pig (ASICI) is a non-profit Interprofessional Agrifood Organization (OIA) in which more than 95% of the organizations in the production branch (farmers) and more than 95% of the branch of the transformation (industrial) of Iberian pork are represented. Created in 1992, it was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1999 as an Interprofessional Agrifood Organization for the Iberian Pig Sector.