U.S. pork shines as a high-quality, convenient option in Korea

In addition to selling only U.S. chilled pork, Costco also utilizes U.S. frozen shoulder butt for its popular home meal replacement kits.

December 5, 2023

2 Min Read
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Korean processors, retailers and restaurants are working aggressively to develop new ideas to satisfy the needs of fast-growing, single-person households in Korea, which now account for 41% of all households.

Consumer demand for quality and convenience is booming and the U.S. Meat Export Federation is partnering with retailers to develop and promote new products with U.S. pork for home meal replacement options.

One such partnership has been an ongoing collaboration with Costco Korea. With 18 outlets nationwide, Costco is a prominent retail destination for U.S. pork. In addition to selling only U.S. origin in its imported chilled pork category, Costco also utilizes a tremendous amount of U.S. frozen shoulder butt for popular HMR kits, such as marinated pork bulgogi.

Costco has recently developed several new HMR products, including “U.S. Pork Bulback,” a frozen pork bulgogi product made with U.S. pork shoulder butt. “Spicy Jjokgalbi,” a chilled marinated rib made with U.S. pork back ribs, has also found strong demand with consumers. USMEF and Costco have carried out continuous joint promotions this year involving point-of-sales sampling demos, which continues to be a proven sales tools in the retail sector.

“Sales of HMR products made with U.S. pork increased significantly in the first half of this year compared to the second half of last year,” says USMEF Korea Director Junil Park. “The promotional support has been instrumental in boosting sales of the HMR products and is working to enhance U.S. pork’s image as a fresh, high-quality product in the eyes of Costco members."

Costco Korea also launched a pork bulgogi bake earlier this year, selecting U.S. pork shoulder butt after testing various meat ingredients to replace its classic chicken bake. Sales trends for HMR products that utilize U.S. pork are very positive and Costco is exploring the development of additional HMR products using U.S. pork shoulder butt.

Funding support was provided by Indiana Soybean Alliance, Nebraska Soybean Board and Kansas Soybean Commission.

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