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Cuban Sandwiches with U.S. Pork a Major Hit at Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

Published: May 15, 2024

A series of USMEF marketing initiatives for roast pork continues in Japan with a unique Cuban sandwich promotion at a popular festival in Nagoya.

A popular festival in Nagoya, capital of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture and home to 2.3 million people, hosted 150,000 visitors over three days to celebrate cherry blossoms and experience unique foods. USMEF extended promotional efforts for roast pork by partnering with four local sandwich shops to feature American-style Cuban sandwiches with U.S. pork.

Each of the four participating sandwich shops recorded record sales of their Cuban sandwiches, selling a combined total of 3,700 during the festival.

“The shops were happy about the results, with each selling all of their Cuban sandwiches. These promotions demonstrate the versatility of American pork, making it an ideal ingredient for roast pork and pulled pork sandwiches,” says USMEF Japan Director Satoshi Kato.

USMEF partnered with local sandwich shops to promote Cuban sandwiches with U.S. pork during the three-day festival.
USMEF published a 16-page guidebook about the Cuban sandwich for Japan’s foodservice sector. The guidebook describes the sandwich, its cultural history and includes Cuban sandwich recipes from well-known restaurants. A special one-page leaflet with recipes was distributed to attendees during the festival.

To support the promotion of Cuban sandwiches at the festival and in other foodservice promotions in 2024, USMEF partnered earlier this year with the publisher of Japan’s most popular travel guide on a 16-page guidebook about the Cuban sandwich.

“Our goal is for foodservice providers and consumers to think of American pork when they think of Cuban sandwiches,” says Kato. “We had success with this approach during the ‘Roast Pork is American Pork’ promotions we conducted at retail and consumer activities during the year-end holiday season.”

Funding support for the festival promotion was provided by the National Pork Board, Iowa Corn Promotion Board and United Soybean Board.