A group of Korean journalists representing high-profile consumer publications visited the United States this summer for an in-depth tour of the U.S. meat production system. The tour resulted in excellent media coverage in South Korea, with a total of seven articles and photo spreads. Support for the project was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).
The Korean delegation included Sung-Yoon Kim, food editor of Chosun Ilbo, an influential, nationwide daily newspaper with a circulation of nearly 1.8 million; Kyung-Hyun Lee, food editor of Maison, a top-tier lifestyle publication; Younggee Leigh, food editor of Luxury, a favorite Korean prestige lifestyle magazine; and Dahee Seo, senior editor of The Traveller, a high-end publication focusing on travel and recreation.
During the tour, journalists visited the Stockyard Meat Packing processing facility in Chicago, a company that’s been in business for more than 120 years, to observe its meat packing practices. The team then traveled to Idaho to tour the operations of Snake River Farms and Agri-Beef. The group also visited Little Cattle Company, a cow/calf operation.
The final stop was in San Francisco, where the team visited top restaurants and met with some of the city’s leading chefs. Chef Ryan Farr discussed the nose-to-tail consumption movement as a popular form of ethical and balanced food consumption. Chef Bruce Aidells provided the guests with a cooking demonstration and taste testing session featuring a pan-sautéed New York strip steak with Spanish sweet pepper and chorizo butter.
The resulting coverage from the tour was significant. Chosun Ilbo created a three-part series based on the U.S. visit and tour. The articles and accompanying photo spreads covered a range of topics, including efficiency in beef production and dry-aging.
Luxury ran an eight-page spread in its October issue. It featured the journey of a steak through the entire beef production chain to high-end restaurants in San Francisco and Chicago. The article included interviews with Chef Farr and Chef Aidells and showcased U.S. beef recipes.
Maison featured articles in its September and October editions. The September issue featured steak, barbecue and hamburger restaurants in Chicago, Boise and San Francisco and included an in-depth look at the Snake River Farms beef brand. The October article focused on the cooking demonstration conducted by Chef Aidells as well as his featured beef recipes. Both articles profiled Agri-Beef and discussed its sustainable production system.
The Traveller featured a 10-page spread in its September issue. The article covered the history of meat production in Chicago, an introduction to the U.S. livestock industry and its high-quality meat production as well as highlights from the cooking class in San Francisco.
“USMEF is thrilled with the in-depth, positive coverage this visit generated in the Korean media,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea director. “These articles were featured in influential, highly circulated publications and successfully delivered our messages about the importance of animal welfare in the U.S., the environmentally friendly production system and the quality and flavor of U.S. meat. We were also very happy to connect with these influential food writers and further build our relationships with them.”
In total, 23.5 pages of media were generated. From an advertising standpoint, the coverage had an estimated value of $1.6 million.