Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation
South Koreans have now found the perfect cheese to go with their wine. With craft beer becoming so popular across South Korea, the U.S. Meat Export Federation found “Beer Week Seoul” a prime opportunity to introduce the perfectly paired snack ... U.S. pork sausages. Funded by the USDA Market Access Program and the National Pork Board, the promotional effort included offering tasting samples of Johnsonville and Oscar Mayer sausages to the more than 25,000 visitors.
“Our goal was to establish American pork sausages as an easy-to-cook and easy-to-eat choice that goes great with craft beer,” says Jihae Yang, USMEF director in Korea. “The craft beer industry is booming in Korea. In the past, the local beer market was dominated by two local power brands, but the changing tastes of Korean consumers can be seen in the rapid rise of local craft breweries. Bars and tap houses selling domestic craft beer have started gaining popularity, fueling the creation of more breweries across the country.”
This year’s Beer Week Seoul was held near Kunkuk University where people ages 25 to 40 often visit trendy cafés, restaurants and shops. USMEF set up a display booth to distribute U.S. pork sausage samples and hold consumer social media events. The two brands of sausages offered — Johnsonville and Oscar Mayer — are currently sold in retail stores in Korea.
According to Yang, more than 5,000 visitors uploaded photos on social media, while nearly 600 participated in a special word game event organized by USMEF.
“As a result, a large number of U.S. pork sausage photos was generated and posted to popular social media sites,” says Yang. “For example, the hashtag ‘Beersnacks’ had more than 100,000 searches alone. ‘American Sausage’ started with only four posts but rose to 1,296 by the end of the event.”
Visitors who posted a photo of the U.S. pork sausages with the U.S. pork background wall — or any U.S. pork items on Instagram with hastags #Beersnacks, #Sausage or #American sausage — were given coupons for free U.S. pork sausages.
“Many photos of the booth and U.S. pork sausages were also featured on the leading social media portal site Naver, and bloggers who visited Beer Week Seoul wrote about the U.S. pork sausages with photos and received a lot of positive reactions,” says Yang. “At the USMEF booth, we emphasized the themes ‘Beer and American Sausages’ and ‘Small Happiness with American Sausages,’ which delivered a strong message to those visitors who came to our booth.”