Reaching consumers interested in trying new cuts of U.S. pork and beef at a special celebration of meat, USMEF partnered with a major supermarket chain to conduct a “Meat Day” sales promotion in Japan. Funded by the Pork Checkoff and the Beef Checkoff Program, the effort included a variety of prizes for shoppers who purchased U.S. pork or beef products.
An unofficial holiday in Japan, Meat Day enjoys an extensive following among families who treat it similarly to an American Thanksgiving Day, with shoppers flocking to retail stores to buy specially-priced meat they then prepare and share. Social media has helped spur interest in the day, spreading recipes and ideas for new dishes.
USMEF has capitalized on Japanese consumers’ special attention to meat, helping retailers select cuts well-suited for Meat Day promotions.
USMEF promoted U.S. pork cuts sliced pork butt, pork loin for tonkatsu (pork cutlet), sliced pork loin and pork tenderloin. U.S. beef cuts promoted were striploin, chuck-eye steak and sliced short plate.
Supermarket chain Max Valu Kyushu, a subsidiary of the Aeon Group, has 151 outlets in the Kyushu Region of Japan. With help from USMEF, the chain sold 16.3 metric tons of U.S. pork (up 133 percent year-over-year) and 14.7 metric tons of U.S. beef (up 177.5 percent) during the one-day promotion.
In addition to sales promotions across the region, 61 locations held “American Meat Lottery” events, in which shoppers who purchased U.S. pork or beef products were able to cast lots to win U.S. pork thick cut chops and a variety of merchandise featuring Gochipo, the U.S. pork mascot.
“One of our objectives in 2017 is to strengthen U.S. pork and beef sales in regional supermarket chains, and this ‘Meat Day’ event proved there is still potential for expanding U.S. red meat sales to customers who frequent these stores,” said Takemichi Yamashoji, USMEF director in Japan. “The idea is to introduce new cuts alongside those that are already popular. We are increasing the red meat options for consumers, and this makes them more likely to purchase U.S. pork or beef on future shopping trips.”