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Summer pork marketing campaign underway

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 07/02/2013 11:04 AM

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DES MOINES —National Pork Board President Karen Richter, of Montgomery, Minn., announced a new summer marketing campaign to communicate the current relative value of pork, educate consumers on new pork-cut names and reinforce proper pork cooking by talking about the ideal range of doneness at a World Pork Expo press conference.

"This is a critical time for our farmers and a challenging year for the industry overall," Richter said. "For consumers, high prices at the gas pump and a tight food budget mean they're searching for bargains, but they still expect great taste and variety in meals. And that's good news for pork."

In April, the National Pork Board rolled out new names for some traditional cuts to address the lack of consumer understanding of pork cuts and how to prepare them.

Based on extensive consumer research, new cut names were selected to enhance value in the meat cuts and new simplified labels were developed to better explain proper cooking techniques.

In order to ease confusion over the various names of pork cuts, the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program joined forces to make the meat case more familiar for shoppers. Several pork chop names are now aligned with beef steaks, so consumers easily can identify their favorite cuts.

"This does mean we'll have to say goodbye to names like 'pork butt,' but we believe consumers will feel more confident in their ability to choose and prepare pork that provides great flavor and versatility at a budget-friendly price," Richter said.

The new porterhouse pork chop, ribeye pork chop and New York pork chop are featured in the summer marketing campaign promoted through national radio and online advertising, food media spokespersons and social media engagement. Consumers will be able to tap into online coupons.

The current consumer campaign, "Pork. Be inspired," is moving product at the retail case and in restaurants, said Chris Novak, National Pork Board CEO.

"In the first quarter of this year, total pounds of pork sold at retail were up 9.9 percent over the first quarter last year and total dollars in sales were up 4.7 percent," Novak said. "Average retail price was down due to higher supplies, but the increased volume more than offset the decrease in average price."