Cracking a solid domestic market with U.S. products takes work, and diligence. The local consumer has to learn the benefits of the product and then adopt it into their own cooking or diet. That's what's happening in Taiwan where a crowd of gourmet bloggers and reporters from a range of media are showing Taiwanese the value of U.S. Pork.
The locals are hungry for news about premium consumer-ready U.S. pork and those bloggers and reporters learned more by covering a U.S. Meat Export Federation event produced with the support of the Pork Checkoff.
At the event, ShenYen Teppenyaki, a celebrity chef, entertained the assembled reporters while serving samples of French-cut bone-in loin, Boston butt and spareribs. Those meats were prepared using local ingredients in six different dishes. Interviews with the chef helped reporters explore the attributes of U.S. pork and his distinctive recipes, which got picked up in many media outlets attending the event.
The goal of the promotion, according to a USMEF press statement, "was to help U.S. pork gain a larger share of the food service sector by capitalizing on demand for branded, premium pork dishes at high-end restaurants and hotels."
USMEF Taiwan Director, Davis Wu, explains: "The finest hotels and restaurants want to distinguish themselves from their competition by serving distinctive dishes such as dry-aged pork steaks and branded pork. Raising the awareness of high-quality U.S. pork with this audience is a good step toward building consumer demand."
Efforts to promote U.S. pork are challenged by Taiwan's zero tolerance for growth promotant residues. USMEF reports it is encouraged by the positive reception to its market development program for U.S. chilled and processed pork. Adds Wu: "Many consumers are unaware of the quality of U.S. pork and where it can be purchased. Seeing Chef Chen demonstrate easy-to-cook pork recipes while discussing the positive attributes of U.S. pork for high-end foodservice sends a strong message to those chefs searching for unique food ingredients."
Taiwan is 94% self-sufficient in pork, USMEF reports, and consumers there enjoy significantly more red meat than their Japanese and South Korean counterparts. Pork is the local favorite.
Through September, Taiwain has purchased 15,431 metric tons - about 34 million pounds - of U.S. pork valued at $34 million.