The National Pork Board’s checkoff-funded promotion campaign is producing results. During the first quarter of 2013, retail pork movement was up almost 10 % over year ago. While retail pork prices were down due to higher supplies, actual dollars spent on pork rose by 4.3% according to Pork Board CEO Chris Novak.
To further inspire consumer demand, a new summer promotion has been launched that encourages consumers to treat their pork like they treat their steak. Pork Board member and immediate past president of the National Pork Board Conley Nelson says the goals of this campaign are to promote the value of pork in the meat case and educate consumers about the new names for pork cuts, “This summer we need to get the new names out there and tell consumers they can cook their pork the way they want to.” In April, the National Pork Board rolled out new names for some traditional cuts of pork as a way to address the lack of consumer understanding of pork cuts and how to prepare them. Based on extensive consumer research, the new cut names were selected to enhance value in the meat cuts, and new simplified labels were developed to better explain proper cooking techniques.
Nelson says the message will be simple: just treat your pork like a steak. “We think this will be a message that will resonate with consumers and will be an easy message to get across,” he stated. The new porterhouse pork chop, ribeye pork chop, and New York pork chop are featured in the summer marketing campaign being promoted through national radio and online advertising, food media spokespersons, and social media engagement. As a part of the campaign, consumers will be able to tap into online coupons that have proven effective in driving visitor traffic to pork-focused consumer websites. Nelson added this does mean consumers have to say goodbye to names like ‘pork butt’, but will feel more confident in their ability to choose and prepare pork that provides great flavor and versatility at a budget-friendly price.
With gas prices and beef prices up this summer, consumers will be looking for ways to stretch their food budget. Good tasting and affordable pork may just be the answer. “This is a critical time for our farmers and a challenging year for the industry overall,” says Karen Richter, National Pork Board president and pork producer from Montgomery, MN. “For consumers, high prices at the gas pump and a tight food budget mean they’re searching for bargains, but they still expect great taste and variety in meals. And that’s good news for pork.”