Pork Demand Enhancement Strategies

A discussion of demand enhancement strategies in the pork industry must start with a historical perspective. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), a checkoff-funded producer group, launched its ''Pork. The Other White Meat®'' campaign in 1987 to reposition pork within the meat industry. Recognizing the growing popularity of poultry (consumers were appreciating its perceived nutritional benefits and versatility as highly desirable), the pork industry saw a strategic opportunity to position pork as a uniquely different entree, competing with poultry white meat rather than with its traditional red meat competitor, beef.

It is easy to ascertain that pork is truly a white meat, because fresh pork especially in popular cuts such as pork chops is white in color after being cooked. Historically, pork was produced as much for the lard as for the meat. Lard was the primary fat source prior to vegetable oils and was used for cooking, as well as for munitions and other industrial purposes. The entire basis for calling attention to pork as ''The Other White Meat'' is to inform consumers that selected cuts of fresh pork are surprisingly lean, versatile, and convenient, and that fresh pork does fit into every diet. Given these attributes, pork does compare favorably to other white meat products.

So the concept, program, and campaign that developed not only spoke to pork's white characteristics, but also emphasized its other features that favorably position pork as a delicious break from the meal routine. The campaign educated consumers that pork offers something different. It was a significant multiple-year effort aimed at helping to expand domestic and export demand for pork and to lead the industry forward.

For more than a decade, the National Pork Board (NPB, previously the National Pork Producers Council) has remained focused and committed to the position. Today, 9 out of 10 people recognize pork as ''The Other White Meat.'' In addition, in a recent study of the most memorable contemporary advertising campaigns undertaken by the Northwestern University Graduate School of Integrated Marketing Communications, ''Pork. The Other White Meat'' ranked in the top five most memorable advertising slogans in America. Not only are consumers more aware of the marketing campaign, but they rate pork 23% higher in product favorability than they did in 1994, according to an industry study. The retail value of pork has steadily grown, outpacing the rate of inflation. Production has increased 37%.

The following tables illustrate both the historical perceptions of pork (in the 1980s) and certain misconceptions that persist today.

In the mid 1980s, pork was falling off the map:

• More than 10% erosion in market share

• Seen as being too high in cholesterol, calories, and fat

• Not featured or promoted by key gatekeepers retail, restaurants, and the press

Perception versus reality:

Perception:

Reality:

• Pork is high in

Pork has 198 calories per 3 oz serving

calories

• Pork is high in fat

3 oz of cooked lean pork has 9 grams

of fat

• Pork is high

3 oz of pork loin contains roughly

in cholesterol

76 milligrams of cholesterol, which is

26% of the daily allowance

• Pork is

1 serving contains one half the adult

not nutritious

daily allowance of adult protein. Pork

has 50% more iron than chicken

is a primary source of thiamin

is high in riboflavin, zinc, and

Vitamin B6

The National Pork Board continues to take the leadership in demand enhancement for fresh pork through its innovative approaches to retail, foodservice, and consumer communications. In addition to the heralded ''Pork. The Other White Meat'' promotion success story, the NPB has retail and foodservice merchandisers working to get pork a greater share of the meat case and a place on more menus.

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