Working to get a head start on the summer menu preferences of Japanese consumers, USMEF offered tasting samples of American-style barbecue at Supermarket Trade Show 2017, an event sponsored by the New Supermarket Association of Japan in Chiba Prefecture. Along with U.S. beef and pork barbecue items, several U.S. beef and pork dishes were offered to thousands of people who visited the USMEF booth, which was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff.
“USMEF has actively promoted American-style urban barbecue to consumers, and this trade show seemed like the perfect place to demonstrate its quality and taste to retail buyers,” said Takemichi Yamashoji, USMEF director in Japan. “Retailers are interested in promoting U.S. beef and pork as barbecue items for the coming summer season. We demonstrated many options and suggested barbecue promotions using U.S. thick-cut items.”
The thick cuts are promoted through USMEF’s Block Meat Project in Japan.
At the Supermarket Trade Show 2017, many products, promotions and ideas were promoted, including:
- USMEF featured thick cuts of U.S. beef and introduced a newly developed promotional video explaining the Block Meat Project.
- As the Angus brand is gathering wider attention among Japanese buyers, USMEF introduced American Angus beef products at the booth.
- With increasing prices of wagyu and Japanese domestic beef products, USMEF suggested USDA Prime grade items as alternatives.
- Highlighting U.S. pork mascot Gochipo, USMEF established “Gochipo Day” as the third Sunday of May and made it the centerpiece of a 60-day campaign period, with consumer prizes to stimulate demand for U.S. pork products.
- This year USMEF intends to increase demand for U.S. pork loin in the Japanese market, supporting retailers to promote popular loin items such as tonkatsu, ginger pork and shabu-shabu. Tonkatsu menus are also popular in the foodservice industry, and USMEF is planning to promote loin items targeting foodservice companies including deli and takeout restaurants.
- USMEF continues to work to increase demand for U.S. thick cuts in supermarkets. At the booth, USMEF introduced ways to cut and prepare thick cut items at home.
To directly introduce the quality and flavor of U.S. beef and pork to the show’s attendees, USMEF distributed tasting samples of U.S. roast beef (flat round and inside round), sukiyaki (chuck eye roll) and steak (striploin). U.S. pork loin was prepared as a steak and fried as pork tempura and tonkatsu. Pork tenderloin was also prepared as tonkatsu.
USMEF’s presence at the show was reported on TV Asahi, which introduced and explained the Block Meat Project.