Pulled pork recipe searches have more than doubled in the past four years, according to Google Insights. To highlight pulled pork’s versatility, the Pork Checkoff provided a wealth of inspiration through its integrated third-quarter marketing promotions.
“While we used many different tools to connect with consumers, they all focused on the overarching message of ‘cook once, serve many different ways,’” said Traci Rodemeyer, director of pork information for the Checkoff.
• Unbeatable deals through retail kiosks. Major East Coast retailers, including Food Lion and Harveys Supermarkets, used a kiosk program to promote pulled pork. When consumers scanned their frequent-shopper card, the kiosk printed pulled pork recipes and a coupon ranging from $1.50 to $3 off fresh pork. Sales volumes of fresh pork rose nearly 40 percent during the promotion, said Bob Gabage, national retail marketing manager for the Pork Checkoff.
• Appealing advertising. Creative ideas for cooking with pork, including pulled pork, were featured in third-quarter television advertisements. Pulled pork also starred in an eight-page recipe insert in the September issue of Food Network Magazine, while an ad featuring pulled pork tostadas (above right) appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Kraft Food & Family, Midwest Living, Reader’s Digest, Redbook and Southern Living.
New for 2012, QR (quick-response) codes were added to magazine ads. The Pork Checkoff tracks how many consumers scan the codes with their smart phones to view pulled pork videos at PorkBeInspired.com. “We strive to measure and maximize the Checkoff investment with every ad placement we run,” said Laurie Bever, director of consumer advertising for the Pork Checkoff.
• The popular “1,001 Plates of Pulled Pork” contest. The Checkoff’s Facebook contest encouraged consumers to share their favorite plate of pulled pork for a chance to win $3,000. “The quality and creativity of the entries were exceptional,” said Rodemeyer, who noted that the winning recipe featured Eggs Benedict with pulled pork.
• An inspiring blogger event. The Checkoff invited top bloggers and food editors to a luncheon at the Cue Art Foundation in New York City to build buzz for pulled pork. Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, author of Good Food to Share and founding editor of TheKitchn.com, served up fast, easy tips for cooking with pulled pork. “We now have new influential advocates for pork, and we’ll continue to reach out to them with Pork Checkoff resources,” Rodemeyer said.
• Ongoing foodservice successes. Quick-service restaurants, such as Subway, Quiznos and Burger King have added BBQ pulled pork sandwiches to their menus in the last year.