Distributors, retailers and foodservice buyers serving three major Japanese cities – Fukuoka, Osaka and Nagoya – recently participated in a series of U.S. pork and beef seminars as part of an effort by USMEF to boost sales in the regions where these cities serve as economic hubs. The seminars provided detailed information on U.S. red meat production and an update on nationwide summer promotional campaigns conducted in July and August.
USMEF-Japan Senior Marketing Director Takemichi Yamashoji led the seminars, which were made possible through support from the Beef Checkoff Program, Texas Beef Council, Pork Checkoff and United Soybean Board. He gave attendees an overview of current U.S. beef promotions, while USMEF Marketing Manager Satoshi Kato provided examples of marketing and merchandising strategies for U.S. pork.
“Holding this series of seminars gave USMEF a great opportunity to offer updated information on U.S. pork and beef, and to provide an overview of USMEF activities designed to help our regional trade partners grow their businesses,” said Yamashoji.
Cooking demonstrations at the seminars were provided by Rika Yukimasa, a well-known chef in Japan. Merchandising specialist Nobuhide Kemi conducted pork cutting demonstrations featuring the center-cut loin and Boston butt, while his beef demonstrations focused on the top blade and shoulder clod heart.
The series attracted more than 500 food industry professionals, who were extremely complimentary of the seminars’ content.
“One of our key goals for this calendar year is to expand market share for U.S. pork and beef in these regions, which are increasingly competitive.” Yamashoji explained. “These seminars are an excellent way to connect directly with industry representatives and show them how USMEF can help meet their specific product needs.”
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