USMEF: US Pork Ascending to No. 1 in Japan

by 5m Editor
13 November 2008, at 8:47am

JAPAN - USMEF has been promoting U.S. pork as “Everyday Delicious— Mainichi Oishi,“ in Japan, and consumers there evidently agree. U.S. pork is the No. 1 imported pork in Japan, capturing a stellar 44 percent market share, up from 33 percent in 2005 and 38 percent in 2007.

USMEF efforts, funded by the pork and soybean checkoffs, the USDA and the industry, are paying dividends, and this success is the basis for USMEF-Japan’s new advertising campaign thanking Japanese consumers for selecting U.S. pork products.

On November 1, USMEF-Japan launched the U.S. pork “Erabarete No. 1 — Selected No. 1 (by you)“ theme which heralds the fact that Japanese buyers and consumers, realizing that the quality and great taste of U.S. pork are as good as domestic product, have been selecting U.S. pork in increasing numbers.

“Erabarete No. 1 — Selected No. 1 (by you)“ posters are seen by millions on Japan's commuter trains

“Since consumers are getting the message that U.S. pork really is ‘everyday delicious,’“ said Greg Hanes, USMEF Japan director, “we wanted to take the campaign to the next level, play upon that success and thank Japanese consumers for selecting us.“

The new campaign was launched with an advertising blitz on train lines throughout the Kanto area, the largest population center in Japan. With almost 20,000 posters and more than 10,000 door stickers spread over 24 different train lines, the campaign is expected to generate more than 600 million viewings in a city of 10 million that travels almost exclusively by train. The ads introduce a new No. 1 logo that has a prominent place in national supermarket promotions in November and December centered on the “Erabarete No. 1 — Selected No. 1 (by you)“ theme.

The campaign features retail promotions highlighting “nabe“ hot pot dishes, which are very popular in winter, at 26 supermarket chains, including Aeon, Ito Yokado, Daiei, Seiyu, Uny, Maruetsu, Inageya and York Mart. The three U.S. pork menu items being promoted are kimchi nabe, chanko nabe (a hearty dish eaten by sumo wrestlers that is growing in popularity) and pork shabu-shabu. The promotions highlight the use of U.S. pork loins, bellies and CT butts and are supported by the “Erabarete No. 1“ logo on point-of-sale materials.

USMEF also is working closely with sauce maker Moranbong on additional materials to promote the use of U.S. pork with its Nabe sauces. Mini video screens are running a 90-second loop ad at more than 200 supermarkets thanking consumers for making U.S. pork the No. 1 imported pork.

“Japanese consumers tend to place their trust in what their store features and what others are doing,“ said Hanes. “By highlighting the fact that U.S. pork has been selected by their retailer and their peers as the best imported pork in Japan, we generate increased awareness, recognition and differentiation of U.S. pork.“

The campaign also includes consumer cooking events in the major Japanese cities of Hiroshima (1,294,000 households) and Kagoshima (871,000 households) in November. Each event will be announced on local television. Famous chefs will describe the quality and great taste of U.S. pork and cook several recipes.