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New Sandwich Campaign Promotes U.S. Pork in South Korea

A two-month campaign launched by one of South Korea’s largest sandwich chains is showcasing pulled pork and increasing overall usage of U.S. pork.

With funding from the National Pork Board, the United Soybean Board (USB), the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), USMEF is teaming with Subway-Korea to promote the “K-BBQ” sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich featuring U.S. pork and a special Korean-style barbecue sauce developed by the chain. The new sandwich was launched in September and will be available in 406 Subway stores across the country until the end of October.

One of the television commercials promoting the K-BBQ sandwich can be seen here.

According to Jihae Yang, USMEF’s director in Korea, the promotion resulted in the usage of 25.5 metric tons (mt) of pulled pork in September alone – 1.5 mt more than Subway officials had projected. The company’s projection over the two-month period is 47.1 mt, which would be a more than 300% increase over typical pulled pork usage for the same period.

“The campaign has been impactful for Subway, but also across the entire industry, as other restaurant and foodservice companies take notice of consumers’ growing taste for pulled pork,” said Yang. “We’ve talked about the desire for convenience in the Korean market because of lifestyle changes among consumers. We believe this type of campaign with a franchise like Subway will help grow the market for pulled pork and build interest in U.S. pork.”

Subway is using social media and television to advertise the K-BBQ campaign, producing commercial spots with Korean celebrities describing the sandwich.

A campaign by Subway in South Korea highlights a new pulled pork sandwich