Special sauces created to complement the flavor of U.S. pork were given out as part of two separate promotional activities organized by USMEF in Japan. Funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the National Pork Board, educational presentations on U.S. pork and tasting sessions were key components of a cooking class for parents and a consumer awareness campaign conducted with a major Japanese supermarket chain.
Sponsored by the food journal Nihon Shokuryo Shimbun, the cooking class was held at a high school in Yokohama, the second most populous city in Japan. The class, designed for mothers of the school’s students, featured U.S. pork as the primary ingredient.
USMEF staff opened the class by explaining U.S. pork’s attributes and nutritional value. An overview was given on U.S. pork production methods and industry measures that protect food safety, along with a list of advantages U.S. pork has over competitors’ products.
A registered dietitian and cooking instructor then demonstrated how to prepare sautéed U.S. pork in onion sauce. After the demonstration, participants cooked the dish themselves and shared their work during a group tasting session.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from those who took part in the class, many saying they previously knew little about U.S. pork but learned a lot in this event and were impressed by its taste and tenderness,” said Tazuko Hijikata, USMEF director of consumer affairs in Japan. “The goal was to create awareness and to encourage people to choose U.S. pork when they are at the supermarket buying meat for their families.”
Aeon, a leading national supermarket chain with more than 400 stores in Japan, recently conducted a two-month U.S. pork promotion. U.S. pork cuts highlighted were loin, tenderloin, CT butt, belly, back rib and picnic. Roasted pork and Korean-style bulgogi made with U.S. pork loin were two dishes served at in-store tastings.USMEF supported the U.S. Pork Fair by supplementing U.S. pork sold in the stores’ meat departments with packages of seasonings and sauces. “Aeon has been a great partner and a supporter of U.S. red meat, so this activity was set up to encourage shoppers to purchase U.S. pork and try new recipes at home,” said Satoshi Kato, marketing director in Japan.