Korean Lifestyle Magazines Showcase U.S. Beef for Special Occasions
Well-known cooking instructor Mi Kyung Jung visited the home of a Lemon Tree subscriber to introduce special New Year’s Day beef dishes at a family gathering. The menu included grilled chuck flap tail, oyster mushroom chuck eye roll bulgogi, top blade shabu-shabu noodles, and a boneless short rib and arugula salad.
“Lemon Tree is a trendy publication that is popular among young housewives, many of whom believe that only domestic Hanwoo beef is suitable for traditional Korean dishes,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea director. “But Jung showed them that U.S. beef is a terrific ingredient for this type of traditional holiday menu by preparing splendid Korean-fusion dishes.”
Joo Hee Park, an Italian cooking expert, conducted a cooking demonstration for four single readers of Allure – a popular fashion magazine – to celebrate Valentine’s Day. She prepared brisket point romaine salad, Prime sirloin steak with port wine and gorgonzola sauce, beef gratin with vegetables, and peppered beef stroganoff with penne pasta. The event was particularly valuable because the invited guests are also influential fashion bloggers, so their postings on this cooking demonstration were viewed by a large number of followers.
“Although a few of the bloggers’ followers expressed concerns about the safety of U.S. beef, most of the comments were very positive,” Yang said. “The bloggers responded to the comments regarding safety and explained that they had no worries, which made for an excellent dialogue without distracting from the enjoyment of the dishes.”
On White Day, a companion holiday to Valentine’s Day that is celebrated one month later, food stylist Yong Il Park held a cooking class for single men who subscribe to Esquire. Their hands-on experience with U.S. beef included preparation of chop steak with mango-lime salsa sauce and an open baguette sandwich with grilled U.S. beef. Park recommended easy ways to cook U.S. beef using bottled sauces that are readily available in the supermarket. Guests commented that the class showed them great ways to enjoy steak dishes at home, at a much lower cost than dining out.
Said one enthusiastic participant: “Now I understand why so-called ‘hot’ restaurants are using U.S. beef, and I am going to cook U.S. steak at home for my girlfriend.”
“It is encouraging that these magazines are willing to work with USMEF in this manner,” said Yang. “This reflects a significant change in consumer sentiment from where we were just a few years ago, and it allows us to pursue strategies that will expand our customer base.”
Placement of these advertorials was supported by the Beef Checkoff Program. Through May, Korea was this year’s fifth-largest market for U.S. beef in volume (45,253 metric tons) and fourth-highest in value ($239 million).