Building U.S. domestic pork volume and value

Current market conditions, the cold storage report and Prop 12 requirements could improve ground pork demand.

Ann Hess, Content Director

July 3, 2023

3 Min Read
Ground Pork Potsticker Bowl .jpg
National Pork Board

While exports have been strong so far this year, domestic demand for U.S. pork continues to be a challenge. Even though the current slump, which followed post-COVID stimulus spending, is concerning, David Newman says the strategy for domestic market development is a long game.

"Building the long-term demand for pork, where we grow the base, we grow the share, and we grow the use," says Newman, who serves as the senior vice president for market growth for the National Pork Board.

One major marketing goal for the remainder of 2023 by the National Pork Board is to focus on underutilized or underdeveloped cuts, turning them into everyday items. Next is putting a strong focus on who is a key consumer for pork.

"Our research data and insights show that the multicultural audience here in the U.S. is going to be a huge part of the future of pork consumption, therefore pork demand," Newman says.

Easy Pork Ramen Bowl (without egg).jpg

Finally, the National Pork Board will continue to partner with those that are closest to the product and the consumers—packers, processors, retailers and food service.

According to Newman, the National Pork Board currently has 62 domestic market development activations going on, including B2B, consumer and retailer food service activations.

"We have active programs currently going on in approximately 8,000 retail stores, almost 600 food service programs, working across and engaging with those retailers and food service companies on a daily basis," Newman says.

Moving into the fourth quarter of 2023, National Pork Board also aims to build up the demand for ground product. 2022 data shows the presence of U.S. ground pork has doubled in retail and stores are carrying ground pork items quite successfully. While the crossover from ground beef is more challenging, Newman says if you look at price point, the success of National Pork Board's ground pork campaign and the current California market, there could be more opportunities for ground pork and other ground pork items.

"Historically, we know that Q4 has been a strong quarter for ground meat purchases, and we're really going to double down in Q4 in this area to drive volume," Newman says. "One of those big pushes will be not only ground pork, but sausage as well, because if you look at the current market conditions, the cold storage report, look at the SNAP reduction … look at the Prop 12 requirements, thinking about the idea that ground products can enter California. When you take all those market conditions into account, there is a huge opportunity here to create incremental demand in those areas."

The National Pork Board also has their eye on driving demand for the underutilized loin.

"We know that the loin has had a challenge in the cutout for the last several decades at least, and we have created a Loin Complex Task Force to really start tackling that in terms of innovation and not just volume, but looking at value as well," says Newman.

Newman says the task force will work on creating consumer pull, beyond just price and promotion, but by focusing on the consumer of the future as well.

About the Author(s)

Ann Hess

Content Director, National Hog Farmer

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