USMEF Demonstration In China Sells U.S. Pork to Expanding Restaurant Chain

by 5m Editor
2 November 2004, at 12:00am

US - Taste and texture are selling U.S. pork in China. After tasting U.S. pork at a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) demonstration, the Hao Ke Lai restaurant chain ordered one container of U.S. boneless butt and bone-in pork loin for a restaurant menu that’s decidedly geared to tastes of a younger generation. The firm, finely-muscled texture of U.S. pork was a strong selling point.

A container — about 20 metric tons — is a large order for a single restaurant chain, but that’s what Hoa Ke Lai bought after USMEF South China Representative Steve Mo cooked a selection of delicious U.S. pork dishes for the owner, general manager and executive chef in the Guangzhou restaurant.

Hao Ke Lai, an affordable restaurant catering to students and young families, has 88 restaurants across China and is expanding. Before placing the order for boneless butt and pork loin, Hao Ke Lai featured U.S. pork short plate and bone-in short rib.

“Because Chinese chefs are set in their ways and don’t necessarily know the best ways to cook U.S. pork products, I do the cooking myself,“ Mo said. “Proper cooking produces delicious dishes, and clients trust U.S. pork quality.“

Mo invited the Hao Ke Lai meat purchaser and chefs to attend USMEF pork handling training to learn about the quality attributes of select U.S. pork cuts, innovative cooking techniques and the latest trends in cuisine. Mo also gave Hao Ke Lai U.S. pork materials and suggestions for new pork dishes once the U.S. pork shipment arrives.

Sliced U.S. pork butt can be used for hot pot since there is a scarcity of appropriate beef products due to a closed U.S. beef market from the single BSE case reported in the United States last December and certification problems for Australia and New Zealand.

Hot pot is a popular dish where customers cook their own slices of meat in a common pot and then dip them in a sauce before eating. The dish is popular during the winter season when customers look for hearty dishes.

Official food service receipts in China grew at twice the rate of the economy last year, fueling demand for meat and other foodstuffs. China is the world’s most populous country with a population of 1.3 billion.

The United States exported 51,971 metric tons of pork and pork variety meat products valued at $57 million to China, the fourth largest export destination, in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 51 percent. Decreased poultry consumption due to the Avian flu has strengthened China’s pork demand.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation - 2nd November 2004

5m Editor