Although the pandemic hit the foodservice sector hard in the Philippines, a few restaurant concepts are doing well with consumers. Korean barbecue in particular, is becoming increasingly popular and many restaurants are adding the concept to their menus.
Small delivery services specializing in Korean barbecue have mushroomed, offline and online during the pandemic and, according to USMEF Philippines Representative Dave Rentoria, some importers claim their businesses have been able to stay afloat because of demand from their customer restaurants for Korean barbecue items.
“New Korean barbecue restaurants are now opening in business districts, malls and even in communities,” explains Rentoria. “And with COVID restrictions easing and existing restaurants looking to expand their menus, we wanted to demonstrate the numerous U.S. pork and beef cuts that are excellent and economical for Korean barbecue dishes.”
Funded by the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program, seminar participants included current and potential foodservice customers of the importer.
Rentoria provided background about the production of U.S. red meat and summarized its high-quality attributes. Following introductory comments from FAS-Manila, USMEF-ASEAN Director Sabrina Yin led an interactive session in which local chefs provided a cutting demonstration and samplings of U.S. pork and beef products contributed by the partner importer.
Featured and sampled pork cuts included brisket bones, shoulder, center-cut loin and jowls. Beef cuts included bone-in short ribs, outside skirt, chuck roll, top blade muscle and chuck flap. Some cuts were marinated and pre-braised for sampling to show additional applications for the Korean barbecue concept.
Rentoria concluded the seminar by discussing the education and promotional programs that USMEF conducts to support partner importers and end-user customers. Samples of point-of-sale materials, signage, aprons and U.S. pork and beef merchandising materials were also on display for the participants.