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US Real Pork master brand targets consumers with authentic pork messaging

23 November 2020, at 1:00am

With consumers questioning where their food comes from and what brands they can trust, the US-based National Pork Board rolled out Real Pork.

Angie Krieger, vice president of domestic marketing at the National Pork Board, spoke to The Pig Site's Sarah Mikesell at The National Pork Board office in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

“Real Pork, which is our new master brand, and that's fancy marketing speak for the new 'us' launched on September 1st," said Angie Krieger, vice president of domestic marketing at the National Pork Board. “Real Pork is all about our pork producers and the products that they raise for consumers. Consumers have a lot of choices today; it's a very cluttered marketplace. We want to get back to the basics - what our producers do on-farm to create an amazing product that lands on the consumer's plate.”

Real Pork is about being authentic in how the pork industry tells its story. Pork products are beloved by people around the world and are the #1 consumed protein around the world. The industry plans to use that as an entry point to talk to US consumers about how their products are raised and how flavorful and safe they are.

“Consumers want transparency more than ever before. Covid-19 brought that to light as we saw instances where the supply chain didn't operate the way people expected it, and they couldn't find things in the grocery store,” said Krieger. “Real Pork was launched at the perfect time for us to talk to consumers about our supply chain and about the real farmers that produce the real products that end up on their plate.”

The program's goal is to raise the value of pork products in the United States. In the US, pork is usually ranked 3rd or 4th compared to other proteins. Kreiger says that's because the industry hasn't highlighted to consumers all the important advantages that pork has to offer.

Those advantages begin in the barn, so telling the authentic stories of pig farmers and pig farms – and how pork’s sustainability creates a protein consumers can feel good about feeding their family – will be a critical part of how Real Pork comes to life. The National Pork Board’s work began to create their master brand strategy before the coronavirus appeared in the United States, but the shift in buying and cooking habits the pandemic created accelerated their efforts. Consumers are weary of meal preparation, and they are seeking new experiences.

During the pandemic, retail sales of US pork have surged as consumers are cooking more at home, purchasing different products than they normally do and experimenting with new recipes. Supported by extensive consumer research, Real Pork aims to not only sustain the growth from pandemic purchasing but extend it long term by highlighting pork’s advantages.

“Producers will get to celebrate their stories,” she explained. “Our producers have aspired to reach the We Care ethical principles. Real Pork is how we'll bring those ethical principles to light for consumers, to help them be assured that the pork products they're feeding their family are good for them, good for the environment and also always taste good.”

The National Pork Board will promote this program through their partners in the entire value chain - packers, retailers and food service - to help get the Real Pork messages to consumers.

“When consumers see the blue pork pic, we want them not only to know that they're going to receive a quality product, but we want them to have a wonderful feeling about the pork brand as well,” she said.