Expanding U.S. pork’s presence in emerging markets is an increasingly important goal. An excellent example of a market with untapped potential is Malaysia, where USMEF recently conducted U.S. meat culinary training in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
“As we look to further diversify export opportunities for U.S. pork, Malaysia is an important market,” noted Craig Morris, vice president of international marketing for the National Pork Board, which provided funding for the seminar along with the United Soybean Board. “Building meaningful relationships with local influencers, buyers and retail and restaurant personnel will not only help U.S. pork gain market share, but also increase overall demand for pork and pork products in Malaysia.”
“The goal was to provide restaurant managers, culinary students and other current and future foodservice professionals who make menu decisions with basic information about the quality and safety of U.S. pork, which the USDA food safety and inspection system helps ensure,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region. “The Malaysian market has strong potential, but it is also highly competitive. So it is vitally important that we differentiate U.S. pork as a nutritious, flavorful, center-of-the-plate option for any restaurant looking to add quality and variety to its menu. One way to do this is to reach out to restaurant operators and culinary students, as well as the importers and distributors who serve Malaysia’s rapidly growing foodservice sector.”
The training consisted of three sessions for three distinct audiences. The first session of the culinary training, held for western cuisine operators, began with an overview of the U.S. pork industry, including insights into how precise production and processing practices enhance the safety and consistency of the finished product. This was followed by detailed cutting and preparation demonstrations on different cuts, specifications of those cuts and applications that fit well with various dishes and menus in the Malaysian market.
Attendees were given samples of three different U.S. pork cuts prepared by a local chef: bone-in loin chop, loin shoulder end and spare ribs.
Separate training sessions were also conducted for culinary students of the Ku Su Shin Choong Hung Restaurant Association (KSSCH) and professional chefs who are members of the KSSCH.
USMEF arranged for Singaporean celebrity chef Pung Lu Tin to conduct a cooking demonstration featuring U.S. pork boneless loin, CT butt and spare ribs. In addition to sampling each dish, participants enjoyed a product showcase made up of different U.S. pork cuts provided by Additives Asia, a local importer of U.S. pork.
“Attendees at each session agreed that the training provided very useful information on the nutrients and qualities of U.S. pork,” said Yin. “They were also impressed by how well the recipes and the product showcase were executed. Participants seemed confident in introducing U.S. pork to their customers and many commented that their customers would find U.S. pork more flavorful and tender than locally-produced pork.”