Increasing awareness for U.S. pork in South Korea and supporting restaurants that want to expand sales of pork dishes, USMEF developed a video to demonstrate how to prepare pulled pork. The video was part of a promotion that included an online event page and an instant quiz program linked to USMEF’s consumer website. Funding for the campaign was provided by the United Soybean Board.
“There was a strong desire from the restaurant industry to learn more about what pulled pork is and how it can best be featured as a menu item,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF director in Korea. “The more consumers know about pulled pork, the more likely they are to try it and ultimately enjoy it. Restaurants that have pulled pork on menus tend to have a sense of pride in the fact that they are offering something different and special.”
USMEF has promoted U.S. pulled pork in the past in American barbecue campaigns. A series of seminars and restaurant promotions introduced Korean consumers and the country’s foodservice industry to the dish.
“The more we experienced such events, the more we learned that pulled pork has great potential to grow,” said Yang. “Pulled pork has many advantages over other cuts in barbecue. It uses Boston butt, which is very cost-effective and readily available. Also, pulled pork is versatile – it can be enjoyed not only as barbecue but also in Mexican food, pizza, sandwiches and on burgers.”
Yang noted that the Korean foodservice industry has introduced various pulled pork menu items. For example, the Subway franchise’s 305 stores in Korea launched a pulled pork sandwich in February, aggressively promoting it in a TV advertisement with popular Korean rap star Jay Park.
“However, pulled pork is still a very new concept in Korea that needs a lot of time and effort to take root,” said Yang.
Because younger customers generally have the most access to pulled pork, USMEF developed its restaurant promotion with a heavy emphasis on online and mobile channels.
The promotion included an instant quiz that followed a one-minute pulled pork video. Meal coupons for use for pulled pork at restaurants in the USMEF pulled pork promotion were the featured prize. More than 330 restaurants took part in the campaign, and USMEF advertised the event through two major restaurant apps – Mango Plate and Dining Code.
“USMEF supported these restaurants throughout the promotion and they were very appreciative of our efforts,” said Yang. Over a seven-day period, more than 52,000 entries were received.