U.S. pork and beef were front and center at the 2015 Supermarket Trade Show in Tokyo earlier this month. USMEF’s participation was supported by the Pork Checkoff, the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).
Although the event carries “supermarket” in its title, it actually draws representatives from a wide range of food industry sectors – including traders, distributors, manufacturers, hotels and restaurants. Nearly 1,600 companies exhibited products during the three-day event, which drew more than 84,000 attendees.
U.S. pork items available for sampling included roast pork, pulled pork and cushion meat steak. The USMEF exhibit also emphasized the advantages of U.S. chilled pork products and displayed data illustrating their quality in terms of flavor, juiciness and tenderness.
U.S. beef was also on display at the USMEF booth. Thick-cut steaks were featured as well as a focus on underutilized cuts such as clod heart and digital flexor and recipes that called for chuck eye roll, rib finger meat, tongue and striploin. Materials were also distributed on U.S. beef production and the U.S. beef grading system.
U.S. barbecue, which is soaring in popularity with Japanese consumers, was a very popular attraction at the trade show. Visitors to the USMEF exhibit were given educational information about barbecue, including instructions for “low and slow” cooking methods. A Texas barbecue chef gave a cooking demonstration and offered samples of barbecue pork spare ribs and beef bone-in short ribs.
“U.S.-style barbecue is really gaining traction with Japanese consumers,” said USMEF-Japan Senior Marketing Director Takemichi Yamashoji. “As we approach the upcoming summer barbecue season, we are planning to really strengthen our U.S. barbecue marketing and promotions in Japan.”
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