As Japan’s foodservice sector struggled last year due to pandemic restrictions, USMEF initiated a new campaign for U.S. pork in October that provided strong promotional support and vibrant U.S. country-of-origin identification in restaurants. Japanese consumers demonstrate strong loyalty to domestic pork and traditionally, many restaurants are reluctant to publicize their use of imported pork.
“We tested the Porktober Fest concept in Tokyo last year and had great participation, with country-of-origin identification central in our marketing materials,” says Satoshi Kato, USMEF marketing director. “Restaurants were pleased with the results and this year we are expanding the campaign to other regions and directly to consumers.”
Central to the campaign is the development of new recipes and menu ideas with roast pork, tomahawk steak, back rib and pulled pork. Using an “American Diner” theme, USMEF will also introduce “King’s Pork” – a boneless crown roast – as a featured menu item.
USMEF is also utilizing American pork trucks to reach consumers through sampling and promotional information at outdoor barbecue events and popular camping areas with ties to Oktoberfest. Funding support for the campaign is provided by the National Pork Board, United Soybean Board, and USDA’s Market Access and Agricultural Trade Promotion programs.