Promoting U.S. pork and processed U.S. pork products, USMEF participated in “Eat the Seoul Festival,” a consumer event featuring select restaurants and food trucks across South Korea’s capital city. Funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Pork Checkoff, the event was part of the COEX Winter Festival and was supported by social media efforts and popular food media.
During the three-day festival, USMEF partnered with food trucks that serve U.S. pork, providing different U.S. pork menu items each day.
“More than 1,200 people participated in tasting events over the three days – people were lined up even before the sampling events started, thanks to USMEF making those attending the Winter Festival aware of the U.S. pork offerings,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF director in Korea. “The sampling dishes featuring U.S. pork were all consumed very quickly, and the response was very positive. We were really able to take advantage of social media to help create interest.”
Those social media efforts included various online presentations, such as Facebook videos and Instagram posts. Popular social media food channels such as Greedeat, Cookat and Eat the Seoul were well-promoted. Related content uploaded on Greedeat’s channels gained 10 million views and 187,000 engagements. USMEF’s content also received 453,000 views and 1,422 positive engagements from consumers. Throughout the tasting event, the American Meat Story Facebook page gained 600 additional followers, bringing its total to nearly 50,000. The number of hashtag contents for American Meat Story rose from 522 to 705 and more than 185 photos of U.S. pork were uploaded with positive comments about the taste of U.S. pork and processed pork products.
Yang said the COEX event was a very strategic choice for promoting U.S. pork.
“COEX is in the Gangnam area in Seoul where more than 120,000 people visit daily, and it is connected underground to the city’s busiest subway station and the Hyundai department store,” she explained. “Notably, at the end of the year, COEX is always a desirable dating spot for people in their 20s and 30s, and for families looking for a place to dine out and shop.”