As America’s pig farmers are efficiently producing safe, quality pork in abundance, the National Pork Board is taking action to encourage consumers selecting pork. “The pork industry is growing. It is much better to be part of a growing industry than one that is retracting or dying,” National Pork Board CEO Bill Even tells the Illinois Pork Expo.
This year U.S. hog farmers are anticipated to increase pork production 3.8%, generating more products for global plates. As the world’s favorite animal protein, pork is still popular among consumers.
“Pork is trending, and there has never been a better time to enjoy pork and make delicious dishes for family and friends,” says Jan Archer, NPB president and a pig farmer from North Carolina.
Taking advantage of pork’s growing consumer popularity and more pounds of pork available, the NPB has launched a new market focus.
Last summer, the NPB allocated $1.1 million of pork checkoff funds into domestic marketing efforts to ramp up promotion and extending partnership with retailers, starting in the last quarter of 2016. Also, the NPB made the decision to allocate 13% of overall pork checkoff revenue in the international market space. “It is about keeping pork at the top of minds with consumers,” explains Even.
Speaking with Illinois pork producers, Even highlights the newest domestic marketing campaign launched this week. Taste of Now creates consumer awareness of pork’s unmatched flavor and value making it the ideal protein on any occasion.
Building on NPB market research, this market promotion separates itself from others with a fresh new approach. Even notes, “It is the first time where we integrated across the organization to make sure we are covering all bases — consumers, retailers, packers/processors and restaurants.”
This marketing campaign also includes significant Spanish-language outreach. “Pork Board is leading the effort in the checkoff world in marketing in multi-cultural space. A vision started three years ago,” says Even.
He further explains that United States demographics show a growing Hispanic population, a culture that favors pork. “The non-Hispanic white U.S. population is only expected to grow 1% by 2050 whereas the Hispanic population in the U.S. is going to grow 167% by 2050. So, Hispanics make up over 18% of the U.S. population already, 58 million people.”
Focusing on the three “Ms” — millennial, mobile platforms and multicultural, this national marketing campaign aligns well with a growing Hispanic community that is young, very active on mobile platforms and pork is already part of their diet. Moreover, cooking for the family is a regularly part of the culture.
Taste of Now details
Hispanic actor and TV personality Carlos Ponce will share the virtues of pork and bring the campaign to life. Additionally, five-time James Beard Award nominee Jose Mendin – who stars in a multimedia series featuring the loin, ham, ribs and tenderloin — has created 10 delicious, easy-to-prepare and budget-friendly recipes to inspire Latino consumers to indulge with pork.
The recipes, which include 30-second “how-to” videos, are on PorkTeInspira.com and other social media platforms. El Sabor de Hoy includes an 11-week radio and digital media buy in the top 10 Hispanic markets in the United States while The Taste of Now English-language campaign includes the top 10 African-American markets. Celebrity chef Richard Ingraham is sharing loin and rib recipes to the African American community through interviews and social media efforts.
The Hispanic marketing project includes a national sweepstakes that gives fans a chance to win a trip to Miami to attend the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Feb. 22-26.
In addition, from now through April 15, all U.S. consumers can be rewarded for something they are doing now more than ever before: enjoying pork. The #PorkNowSweeps offers consumers a chance to win daily prizes by sharing a photo of their pork dish on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #PorkNowSweeps.
To take part in the contest, pork lovers simply need to share a photo of the pork on their fork — or spoon, kebab, grill, plate or bowl — through social media. Everyone who enters will have the chance to win a $10 coupon good for a purchase of fresh pork, as well as other daily prizes totaling more than $10,000.
#PorkNowSweeps celebrates and highlights the many ways to enjoy pork. The Pork Checkoff wants to see how America is enjoying pork now, in the moment — whether it is a favorite pork chop recipe, a creative take on ham or the latest savory pork dish at a restaurant.
“While mealtime has always been about sharing and community, social media has changed the dynamic of that community and even the way we eat,” Archer says. “Now we can share our food experiences, photos and inspiration with others across America and even around the world.”
For sweepstake details or to enter, go to the Pork Be Inspired Facebook page. Contest prizes range from pork-themed cookbooks to a catered, Houston-inspired spread for the big game, to new cooking tools. The sweepstakes continues through Easter and will be shared via celebrity pork fans and featured on Allrecipes.com.