Innovative Marketing Key to Success in Japan

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council suggests innovative marketing focusing on quality is the key to making inroads in the lucrative Japanese market, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 16 September 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

A delegation of Canadian pork producers recently returned from a trade mission that traveled to Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Canadian Pork Council director Florian Possberg observes, because of Japanese Country of Origin Labelling, Japan's retailers typically carry domestic pork and pork from one importing country so the goal is to make sure that Canadian pork is the choice in as many stores as possible.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Pork Council

Canadian product is generally the best product but, as you know, marketing is more than just having the best product.

It's having the ability to supply markets on a consistent basis and having a presence and that sort of thing.

The Americans spend I'm guessing probably five to ten times the amount on accessing markets whether it's give-away programs to entice stores to use American meat or what ever.

They've just got a whole lot bigger budget than we do so, generally speaking, we have to have a different approach to marketing and we have to find markets that put a value on the premium pork that we supply.

That's not always a given that just because you have quality you're going to have market access so our packers here in Canada along with the people that do the merchandising along the value chain, they have to be very innovative and aggressive to get our place on the Japanese counter because the Americans are really tough competition.

Mr Possberg notes, because there is a limited number of countries that are physically able to supply fresh pork to Japan, Canadian processors are competing primarily with American processors.

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