Promoting U.S. beef as the best option for hot pot dishes in Taiwan, USMEF teamed with restaurants in Taipei to organize themed events covered by both traditional and social media. Funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program, the U.S. Beef Hot Pot events reached thousands of consumers with messages about U.S. beef’s quality and versatility. USMEF is a subcontractor of the Beef Checkoff.
“We organized different types of campaigns involving restaurants that serve hot pot dishes and held media gatherings that resulted in exposure on television and in newspaper, magazine and web-based articles,” said Davis Wu, USMEF director in Taiwan. “Our efforts appeared on the news channel TNN, which did a story on hot pot trends. We also generated social media buzz to expand awareness of U.S. beef as the top choice for hot pot.”
USMEF also introduced consumers to ethnic and creative hot pot restaurants that are loyal users of U.S. beef. Media gatherings were held at the hot pot restaurants with different themes: Thai, herbal and spicy.
Chris Frederick, director of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Taipei, and Cleo Fu, agriculture marketing specialist of the ATO, participated in each media event.
Following the gatherings, UDN news, one of the major media outlets in Taiwan, inquired if USMEF could provide further information about U.S. beef. USMEF staff arranged an interview with UDN journalists focusing on educating Taiwanese consumers about the correct names of popular U.S. beef cuts and the best way to enjoy U.S. beef when preparing and serving hot pot. There were seven U.S. beef cuts highlighted in the interview: top blade, chuck flap, boneless chuck short ribs, boneless short ribs, heel muscle and ribeye. Pastrami was also showcased. The UDN story can be found here).
TNN produced a video on the hot pot event.
“Educating consumers in Taiwan about U.S. beef is the first and most important step toward growing the market,” said Wu, who noted that Taiwan’s beef self-sufficiency rate is only 4%, so the country is highly reliant on imports. “The U.S. currently holds a very strong share of the market, but there is tremendous potential to grow that share even more. There is also intense competition, so it’s important to defend U.S. share every chance we get.”