Taking a creative approach to reaching young consumers and foodservice companies in southern China, USMEF offered tasting samples of U.S. pork at two separate events in Guangzhou. The promotional efforts, which included sharing of nutritional information and displays of various U.S. pork cuts, were funded by the Pork Checkoff.
At the Guangzhou Amateur Tennis Open, held at the Guangzhou Olympic Sports Center, more than 200 amateur tennis players performed in front of large crowds. Bester Foods, a U.S. pork importer in the region, sponsored the tournament and partnered with USMEF to have a guest chef conduct a presentation on the attributes of U.S. pork.
To further connect with Chinese consumers and offer them a taste of the product, U.S. pork butt skewers were served.
“Because the tennis players are young sports enthusiasts, we look at them as potential consumers of U.S. pork, and young people in China are interested in better protein products,” said Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China. “Along with letting them try U.S. pork, we also introduced them to the nutritional value. The response from the young players was excellent, and many parents who were there to watch the tournament told us that they are interested in U.S. pork and trying more of it.”
Following the two-day tennis tournament, participants attended an awards dinner, where U.S. pork CT butt steak prepared in the Bester Foods demonstration kitchen was served.
“It was a good opportunity for U.S. pork to build up a healthy image in the sports circle in Guangzhou,” said Liang. “Bester Foods has a retail program as well, and they also reported strong interest in U.S. pork by players and their parents. The company believes promoting U.S. pork in an environment like the tennis tournament will help long-term development, as consumers spread the word about the product to other consumers.”
One week prior to the tennis event, USMEF cooperated with U.S. pork distributor BBC to promote U.S. pork at the first U.S. “Co-Creator Work Space Gathering” in Guangzhou. The event was billed as a cooperative working forum in which restaurants and other foodservice companies could find cooperators and suppliers.
More than 100 companies signed up to attend the event. USMEF set up a booth with U.S pork short ribs, spareribs, St. Louis spareribs and CT butt on display. Samples of U.S. pork CT butt and spareribs were prepared, along with picnic meat roll slices for hot pot.
“It was a great opportunity because we had at least 80 restaurants sign up and other foodservice companies were represented as well,” said Liang. “The goal was to put the product in front of these companies and let them taste U.S. pork. We were able to share a lot of information and received immediate interest from many attendees.”