A leading South Korean consumer magazine and USMEF-Korea partnered recently on a unique barbecue event that generated significant publicity among a key target audience: families with young children.
Staff from Lemon Tree magazine, as well as several influential Korean food bloggers, were in attendance as 20 Korean families – selected from more than 300 applicants – enjoyed a traditional American barbecue with the help of two chefs from Texas, Rebecca and James Fischer. Funding for the event was provided by the Beef Checkoff and USDA’s Market Access Program.
USMEF-Korea Director Jihae Yang greets BBQ Day guests
“Through these 20 families at a single, fun event – the USMEF BBQ Day – we were able to provide families across Korea with exposure to a variety of new recipes for U.S. beef, and to demonstrate that the safety concerns that once surrounded U.S. beef are now gone,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea director. “Through Lemon Tree and the bloggers, the cookout is reaching a broad audience across the country.”
Chef Rebecca Fischer demonstrated the traditional style of Texas and Carolina barbecue cooking using an authentic barbecue smoker. Families in attendance observed the preparation of and later enjoyed a number of different barbecue favorites, including Texas chili, ancho espresso-rubbed brisket with chipotle barbecue sauce, Coca-Cola cowboy rib, and cumin and coriander grilled chuck eye roll.
“I was surprised when I tasted the meat dishes. They were so tender and the tastes of seasonings were incomparably better than the meat dishes that I usually eat,” said homemaker Kim, Ji Hye. “I experienced the meaning of ‘melt in my mouth.’ Can I cook the same if I try the recipe from the American chef?”
Chefs James Fischer and Rebecca Fischer provide a cooking and cutting demonstration
“This event will stay with my family as a precious memory,” added homemaker Lee, Eun An. “It was very satisfying, so thanks to USMEF and Lemon Tree.”
Adding to the festivities were a number of activities for children including coloring pictures of cattle, face painting, darts and photos in costume. Additional sponsors for the event, Coca Cola-Korea and Zippo, provided soft drinks and outdoor barbecue lighters to the families.
“This was our first large-scale consumer event involving young housewives and children in the past few years since the candlelight vigils in 2008 when consumer and media reaction to U.S. beef was less positive,” said Yang. “The reaction was extremely positive. We’re continuing to see very positive reception to U.S. beef and evidence that Korean consumers regard U.S. beef among their primary food options.”
Follow one blogger’s report on the event online
Through the first five months of 2011, South Korea is the No. 2 destination by volume for U.S. beef. Thus far in 2011, the U.S. has exported 76,209 metric tons (168 million pounds) of beef valued at $330.6 million, increases of 105 percent and 103 percent, respectively, versus 2010.