USMEF Promotes American Pork in Japan

The U.S. Meat Export Federation is looking at growth opportunities for branded, thick-cut products in two new initiatives to increase American pork sales.

In Japan - thinly sliced meats are standard - but USMEF-Japan hired popular cooking instructor Rika Yukimasa to develop U.S. pork recipes and introduce Japanese consumers to techniques that work for larger cuts during a two-month promotion that ends at the end of this year.

A group of 160 food bloggers and homemakers are learning easy cooking roast pork recipes from Yukimasa for this current promotion.

As for branded pork - Japan's competition in this market has more than 400 domestic brands - but U.S. pork is gaining a place in the market.

USMEF conducted an American Branded Pork Campaign to encourage consumers to purchase U.S. branded pork earlier this year. The campaign focus was to traders and distributors - but now they are adding activities to increase awareness of the quality and value of these products to consumers.

During the first eight months of this year - Japan purchased 677.8-million pounds - or 1.3-billion dollars-worth - of U.S. pork - a six-percent increase in value on six-percent lower volumes compared to 2011.

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