USA, Denver, CO. The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is partnering with supermarket chains and event organisers in Japan’s regions to strengthen already high US red meat sales by localising marketing, public relations and consumer interaction campaigns.
In April, USMEF representatives offered tasting samples of thick-cut pork and beef at a supermarket trade show in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo. Hoping to get a greater share of Japan’s large barbecue market during the upcoming summer season, the USMEF event built on steps taken in 2016 to increase demand for thick-cut items in Japanese supermarkets. Most pork and beef sold in Japan is cut thinly, leaving customers inexperienced in preparing dishes using thick cuts.
Event attendees were shown how to cut and cook thick-cut meat, while a new sticker on supermarkets’ thick-cut meat packs is designed to direct consumers to a website for cooking tips. Items to be affected include pork loins, cellar trimmed (CT) butts, bellies and tenderloins.
In Hiroshima Prefecture, western Honshu, USMEF has teamed up with Spark, a leading regional supermarket chain, in a campaign to promote the nutritional value of US pork and beef. Some 2,500 samples were distributed through funding from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market Access Programme as well as the Pork and Beef Checkoff Programs.
Under the banner “Fureai Kenko” (communication and health in Japanese), USMEF representatives have promoted healthy and innovative ways to cook US pork and beef products stocked by Spark, working in in-store booths.
Meanwhile, in Hyogo Prefecture, near Kyoto, USMEF is collaborating with Miyako Hotels & Resorts. From May to September, the hotel’s beer garden will offer US beef cuts and pork belly at its BBQ events.