Hog markets have dropped to unprofitable levels for many producers this fall. “This is a challenging time for agriculture and especially for our producers,” says Jan Archer, National Pork Board (NPB) president and a pork producer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “Our goal is to help producers during this time and provide consumers with a great value and quality pork.”
Archer shared a few of the things the NPB, using Pork Checkoff funds, is doing to keep pork moving and help producers.
1) Partnering with major grocery retailers.
This fall the NPB is working with the top 10 U.S. grocery retailers, including a holiday promotion for Walmart with on-pack recipe labels, digital marketing, email blasts, and in-store pork promotions. Costco had an October “Porktober” promotion, consisted of in-store pork product demos, instant rebate coupons on featured pork cuts, and advertising in the Costco Connection member magazine. Kroger is driving pork loin, shoulder, and ham sales for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The program includes radio and digital ads and in-store events.
2) Focusing on foodservice.
NPB is working with high-volume restaurants to present a clear message around the opportunity pork presents through versatility, profitability, availability, and customer appeal. To reach the industry at large, the foodservice team will launch a print and digital brand campaign with custom ads from February through May 2017.
3) Keeping pork top of mind via digital marketing and PR.
During the holidays, the Pork Checkoff is encouraging consumers to make every moment – big or small – one worth celebrating. The Make it a Moment campaign is helping pork stand out from the typical holiday messages. “Using social media technology, we connect social media users with great-tasting pork recipes to match their meal plans,” says Archer. When people visit the Pork Be inspired Facebook page, they can open Facebook Messenger to help find the right recipe.
4) Maximizing multicultural marketing.
The NPB is promoting budget-friendly pork and building on the success of summer’s Grill For It campaign, which incorporated a Spanish-language component. New promotions showcase the Make it a Moment campaign and feature our Spanish-language site, including new 1-minute videos to help consumers become more comfortable with cooking pork.
5) Inspiring new trends.
To help bolster pork sales, the Pork Checkoff is working with retail partners to encourage consumers to broaden their options. Along with ham, NPB is promoting pork roast as a holiday meal.
6) Promoting U.S. pork exports.
While the high value of the U.S. dollar and competition from other countries in key export markets has curbed U.S. pork export demand, there are positive signs on the horizon, says Archer. “About 25% of U.S. pork production goes overseas, and we need to keep moving product to keep producers profitable.” Mexico, China, Japan, Korea and Canada are pork’s big five buyers, and the Pork Checkoff, through the U.S. Meat Export Federation, continues to invest in pork promotions overseas.
7) Reaching online consumers.
As consumers search for recipes online for meal planning, the Pork Checkoff’s online ads are reminding them about pork’s great taste and value, says Archer. They are also working directly with food bloggers on PorkBeInspired.com.
“Together, we can get through this time,” says Archer. “Pork producers are resilient. We’ve faced challenges before. We want to help our producers in any way we can.”