The biggest state fairs in the country all create the opportunity for food innovation. Over the past decade a key area of creative thinking goes to food ideas that are designed for easy carrying while walking and eating. The answer is the trend of putting more different kinds of food on a stick.
For the upcoming Iowa State Fair, with gates opening Aug. 9, the state’s pork producers are launching a new food option. At the building known as the Iowa Pork Tent, the producers will be serving a new sweet and savory treat made from a quarter pound of honey-cured pork belly rubbed in brown sugar and cooked “to perfection,” according to the group. And the name? The Brown Sugar Pork Belly on a Stick.
The association submitted the specially made pork belly to the Iowa State Fair for its Best New Fair Foods for 2018, and after being compared to more than 50 other new food products this pork-focused fare qualified for the semi-final round of the competition. With a final push from consumers voting on the state fair app, the new product is new a finalist on the list of 2018 Best New Foods at the fair.
It turns out that two of the three finalists are pork products. That second pork-centered finalist is the All Iowa Belly Up Burger by the Rib Shack.
IPPA and its members were inspired to introduce a new product for 2018 and the Brown Sugar Pork Belly “is a great product to do that,” said Dave Moody, Nevada, Iowa, a Pork Tent committee member.
Added Kelsey Sutter, IPPA marketing and programs director: “Consumers have proven that bacon is king, and they’re now willing to branch outside the bacon craze and give pork belly its time in the lime light. Last year, pork belly was one of the top three trending foods in the U.S. food industry.”
The new pork belly on a stick can be found at the Pork Belly Express line on the north side of the Pork Tent Building, or through the main Pork Tent food line on Grand Avenue. It will not be available at the stands that exclusively sell pork chops on a stick. The pork belly on a stick will sell for $7 each.
And as a finalist, this new food is in the running to be the top new fair product. Voting takes place during the first six days of the fair, August 9-14. Fair visitors can vote on the Iowa State Fair app, and the winner is announced Wednesday, Aug. 15. You can search the Iowa State Fair App on your favorite app site - iTunes or Google Play to vote.
Source: Iowa Pork Producers Association