3 ways your checkoff is building demand for pork

The checkoff is building new partnerships, conducting precise outreach to U.S. households and growing export markets to drive demand for U.S. pork.

March 1, 2024

4 Min Read
3 ways your checkoff is building demand for pork
Submitted by The Pork Checkoff.

By Dr. David Newman

Senior Vice President for Market Growth at the National Pork Board, Dr. David Newman, leads the Pork Checkoff’s market growth team, helping drive demand internationally and domestically.


3 ways your checkoff is building demand for U.S. pork

As pork producers, our goal is to grow our businesses by producing the highest-quality products as efficiently as possible. But to effectively drive volume and value, we first need to pinpoint our ideal consumers, what they want to purchase and where they’re shopping.

That’s why the National Pork Board is working with pork producers to build a bigger consumer appetite for pork in three important ways: Building new partnerships with key stakeholders, including retailers, foodservice and convenience stores; addressing the way consumers are changing how and what they eat; and growing export markets.

New retail partnerships 

From on-the-go breakfasts to brunch around the kitchen table, pork is the go-to choice for many Americans. But we believe pork should be on the menus for lunch and dinner, too.  We’ve built one-on-one relationships with foodservice, retail and convenience store operators by showing them how versatile, affordable and nutritious pork can be.

As a result, the Pork Checkoff landed some new opportunities in 2023:

  • Secured four major foodservice agreements, which helped us make inroads with retailers, convenience stores, schools, hospitals and more

  • Placed pork on the menu in national foodservice programs in 579 locations

  • Added options for convenience store shoppers, including the Spicy Cuban and Big Pig sandwiches, fresh bacon-wrapped pork filets and even pork tamales

  • Worked with our partners to develop 15 new seasoned meat retail options

To keep the momentum going, we’re sitting at the most important tables and talking pork with decision-makers throughout the value chain. With every conversation, the Pork Checkoff delivers important insights about consumers, which help our partners know how and where to win with pork.


More U.S. households

The Pork Checkoff also focuses — with pinpoint accuracy — on consumers themselves. Based on checkoff-funded research, we’re putting the right message in front of the right consumers in the right place.

Taste and flavor lead when it comes to consumers. Millennials and Gen Z consumers represent the youngest and largest group of consumers. As purchasing power shifts from Boomers, we’re working to make pork relevant to these buyers by leading with taste and flavor and reaching them where they are — on social media and in grocery shopping apps.

The Pork Checkoff’s Ponle Pork campaign — which means “Add Pork” — is a prime example of how we’re getting the right message to the right consumers in the right place. The campaign continues to grow sales to Hispanic consumers in major markets — including Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

We’ve invested significant funds in research to better understand and predict what customers want and need today and tomorrow. That means the Pork Checkoff can implement big-impact projects that focus on the short term while also implementing long-term benefits and programs for pork producers.

Growing export markets

But driving domestic demand is only part of the global equation for U.S. Pork. With help from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and matching funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Pork Board also drives international demand.


We’re focusing on three key areas as we meet with international buyers:

  • Identifying emerging markets

  • Showcasing what makes U.S. pork a cut above competitors

  • Highlighting new cuts

Capitalizing on the U.S.’s ability to deliver fresh pork, we’re making a name for U.S. pork in Japan. As a result of highlighting the quality, consistency and availability of U.S. pork, and showcasing producers who shared their sustainability story directly with Japanese buyers, a popular Japanese restaurant chain switched to 100% U.S. pork.

But growth isn’t happening only in Japan. Customers across the globe are looking for a steady, sustainable supply of fresh pork, providing new opportunities for pork producers to connect with new buyers. In Mexico and Latin America, sales have also increased, with record-large shipments to Mexico in 2023. As international opportunities and sales continue to blossom, pork producers can keep an eye on checkoff dollars at work by viewing monthly export totals at porkcheckoff.org.


At home and overseas, Pork Checkoff dollars are hard at work

No one is better positioned than U.S. pork producers to deliver high-quality fresh and cooked pork at home and overseas. Pork Checkoff dollars are being put to work to ensure buyers of all kinds are lined up to purchase pork producers’ products.  One-on-one connections and conversations, checkoff-backed research and data, along with a three-pronged approach to developing international partnerships, are working together to build a bigger appetite for U.S. pork.

To learn more about how the Pork Checkoff supports U.S. pork producers, sign up for our weekly emails at porkcheckoff.org.

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