Putting Two Unique Pork Dishes to the Test

The data in our All About Dining Out report shows us several significant opportunities for pork. Specifically, we see that unique, craveable appetizers, and Hispanic-inspired, flavorful breakfasts were some of the key opportunities to win more consumers. Intuitively, we saw ways pork could respond to these cravings and help restaurants differentiate themselves.

To test our intuition, we partnered our internal culinary experts with food industry market research firm Datassential to gather consumer feedback on innovative pork dish ideas. We assessed reactions to descriptions and images of two potential pork menu items featured in our All About Dining Out report – pork wings and a carnitas omelet. Take a look at what they found about consumer tastes and cravings:

Crispy, bone-in pork “wings” with a dry rub or glaze of traditional flavors, such as Buffalo, honey barbecue, teriyaki, Thai curry or mango habanero.
The wings (intended to be cut from the shank) generated a favorable response, outscoring 91% of other dishes tested for uniqueness. Additionally, the dish outperformed 60% of others dishes for draw, which measures the likelihood someone would visit a restaurant just for this item, and when compared just to other appetizers and sides, it outperformed 72% of those dishes.

Key Takeaways:
Pork wings’ high uniqueness score is an opportunity for restaurants to differentiate themselves from competitors through pork. With its above-average draw score, especially compared to other appetizers, pork wings — especially as a limited-time offering — can attract new customers interested in craveable, unique dishes and create buzz for restaurants.


Braised pork shoulder carnitas, green chilis and  jack cheese, folded inside an omelet and  topped with fresh pico de gallo.
The omelet returned similarly strong results than the pork wings, outscoring 93% all other dishes tested for uniqueness. In addition to its uniqueness, the carnitas omelet also outscored 73% of all other dishes for draw, and 57% of other dishes for frequency, which measures how likely consumers would be to order the item all the time.

Key Takeaways:

We know getting more Hispanic flavor-based pork dishes on menus is critical. According to Datassential’s 2018 Chain Analyzer, 51% of consumers crave Latin-inspired pork dishes when dining out. These types of dishes are perfect to initially offer as an LTO. Quick, craveable dishes like a carnitas omelet are a great example of how restaurants can increase draw and differentiate themselves from competitors.

The examples we shared in our report All About Dining Out were based on data: our research showed that there were opportunities to win customers with unique, craveable appetizers, and Hispanic-inspired, indulgent breakfasts. And our intuition said that pork could be the perfect answer to those findings. Now through these tests, we’ve seen that our assumptions were correct.  Unique, craveable pork dishes, like pork wings and carnitas omelets, can increase consumer draw and frequency.

What pork dishes would you want to see tested?
Send me an email, and we can discuss which pork dishes
might be the perfect addition for your business. 

Angie Krieger

Angie Krieger

Assistant Vice President, Channel Outreach

National Pork Board Cell: 319-594-4000 akrieger@pork.org