It’s no secret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more consumers are cooking and eating at home. The question becomes, what does this mean for foodservice, as restaurants start to re-open.
The National Pork Board is working to help restaurants innovate, in order to stand out and drive demand. Partnering with IHOP, the Pork Checkoff provided industry insights and data that informed their latest promotion.
“The promotion is called the Bacon Obsession Menu. And it really is focused around this limited time offer that includes steak house premium bacon. So, it’s bacon it’s five times thicker than any other bacon that you’ve ever seen, something that you would normally find at a fine dining establishment, not necessarily a family dining type restaurant. So, it’s very unique in that standpoint, and then also included, they have a steak house premium bacon burger, candy bacon pancakes and then a maple bacon milkshake. And their VP of Culinary and R&D commented in an interview, bacon, is our French fries, 50 percent of our customers order bacon. So, we’re taking it to the next level and really what the chain is doing is they’re capitalizing on a consumers love affair with bacon.”
According to Hull, there is good news for pork producers, as IHOP– located in all 50 states– elevates bacon beyond its traditional breakfast position.
“The great part for the industry is they’re expanding it beyond breakfast and really utilizing it across all day parts, which is really, really, a smart play for them. The good news for producers is our iconic blue Pork logo is all over all of their promotional materials. So, from point of sale, in store menu inserts to online and in their social media posts. So, we’re excited with the relationship that we’re building with IHOP and we’re going to continue to work with them in the months and years ahead to continue to bring ideas to them that they can, how they can feature more pork on their menu.”
Kiersten Hafer, of One Mind and who works with strategic and consumer insights with National Pork Board, says the consumers mindset has changed over the last year and retailers and foodservice will adjust to meet those consumer needs.
“Reflecting on the past year, it’s safe to say that when the going gets tough, the tough eat meat. We do know though that consumers are purchasing more than they did pre pandemic. In fact, 43 percent of shoppers are still buying more meat than they did, and 42 percent of consumers are buying different cuts than they did before. So, we think that they’ve become definitely more knowledgeable, more confident, they are going to keep a lot of that cooking in their own four walls. It’s not to say that they won’t dine out, but we think they’ll return to restaurants and really lean on them for things that they can’t do at home themselves. So, it may be things like healthful eating we’re comfort foods or spicing global flavors.”
Another Pork Checkoff funded promotion to look for includes a boneless pork chop recipe video and shopping list at Sam’s Club.