USMEF Helps South Korean Retail Stores Sell U.S. Chilled Pork

SOUTH KOREA - More and more discount retail stores in South Korea are selling U.S. chilled pork and the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is facilitating the potential success of these efforts with in-store promotions and consumer education.
calendar icon 2 June 2006
clock icon 4 minute read

The average retail price of domestic beef and pork in South Korea has increased as much as 40 percent, making U.S. chilled pork attractive due to its high quality and affordable price.

Wal-Mart started carrying U.S. chilled pork this month with USMEF pork tasting promotions at all 16 Wal-Mart stores in the Seoul area. Customer response was favorable, judging from the estimated sales volume during this promotion of three metric tons, a relatively large volume for Wal-Mart.

In addition, the promotions generated coverage in the Daily Focus, Metro Seoul and Maeil Business Daily newspapers. Additional promotions are scheduled at the three Wal-Mart stores with the highest sales.

E-Mart, the largest retail outlet in South Korea, started selling U.S. chilled pork last June with good success. Costco, known for its high quality meat products, started carrying U.S. chilled pork in April.

Lotte Mart, the second largest chain, held U.S. pork promotions at 10 stores in April and has been holding weekend promotions continuously at stores in Seoul, and alternating weekends at different stores in the metropolitan area.

The price of U.S. chilled pork belly is half the price of domestic product with no quality difference. Due to the low rate of the U.S. dollar, a continued wide price gap between U.S. chilled pork and domestic product is predicted.

“A favorable price is encouraging more consumers to try U.S. chilled pork, but what we have noticed is once they try it, they will purchase it again based on its good flavor, high quality and affordable price,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF Korea director.

Meat sections in South Korean retail stores are divided into three sections of domestic beef, domestic pork and imported meat to gain consumers trust in accurate meat labeling procedures. U.S. chilled pork is displayed in the imported meat counter away from domestic pork.

To draw consumers to U.S. chilled pork in the retail stores, USMEF developed a new advertisement featured in family consumer magazines to inform consumers about where they can find high quality, affordable U.S. chilled pork at the imported meat counter of their favorite retail store.

“We wanted to show consumers where they can find U.S. chilled pork, while also assuring them the product quality is just as high as domestic pork at a much lower price,” said Yang.

To boost the U.S. pork use in pork restaurants, USMEF Korea is placing U.S. chilled pork advertisements in a trade magazine starting this month. The advertisement emphasizes the high quality, safety and stable price of U.S. chilled pork.

U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to South Korea through the first three months of this year rose 67 percent in quantity to 32,947 metric tons and 38 percent in value to $65.7 million compared to the same period last year.

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, lamb, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.

ThePigSite News Desk
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