By Jason Menke

A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into pork promotion. In many cases, the Pork Checkoff’s channel marketing team spends months working with restaurants and grocery chains before diners and shoppers see a new menu item or offering at the meat counter.

Recently, the Checkoff helped develop two promotions now in full swing. While work began last spring, the timing couldn’t be better given the market conditions pork producers are facing.

Subway® Features Pork
With its ability to maximize profits and provide a versatile flavor profile, pork was a natural choice for Subway® franchise owners to develop a limited-time offer (LTO) that started Aug. 1. For the last few months, the domestic marketing team worked closely with Subway to showcase pork in three different sandwiches during an eight-week campaign.


Nearly 5,000 locations, or about 20 percent of U.S. Subway restaurants, are featuring one or two of three sandwiches – the BBQ Rib, the Pulled Pork Crunch and a Cubano. Running through the end of September, the LTO will be featured in high- population markets in the East and South, including nearly 800 stores in Florida, more than 500 stores in New York state and about 400 stores in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, respectively.


Grill it Like a SteakSM at Ahold Delhaize Stores
If you give someone a pork chop, they’ll eat for a day. If you teach someone how to cook a pork chop properly, you create repeat business at the meat counter.

The Pork Checkoff used that proverb as its framework when working with Ahold Delhaize to create a series of promotions that focus on the proper end-point cooking temperature. The promotions began Aug. 1 in
more than 1,950 company stores, including Giant, Giant Martin, Stop & Shop, Hannaford and Food Lion.

The materials are being shared with customers through the end of the year. Following are highlights.

  • Giant, Giant Martin, and Stop & Shop – The 145°F end-point temperature message is prominently featured on new package labels at 752 Giant, Giant Martin, and Stop & Shop stores.
  • Food Lion – At 1,028 stores, a 40-second video highlighting how to bake pork chops correctly is running in rotation through the end of December. The video will be shown about 33,300 times at each store, or more than 34 million times chain-wide.
    Also, as Food Lion shoppers scan their MVP Cards at Savings Center kiosks, they’re getting a five-second cooking temperature video on the screen while the recipe for baked pork chops prints.
  • Hannaford – Every fresh pork item at all 181 Hannaford stores is cut by hand. Starting Aug. 1, all fresh pork packages now includes a Grill it Like a Steak sticker.


Summit Showcases Pork Menuing

Dario Cecchini, a world-famous butcher from Panzano, Italy, finishes fabricating a porchetta, while his wife Kim translates Italian to English for Pork Summit attendees.

In July, the Pork Checkoff took several innovative approaches to turn great chefs into pork advocates at its eighth annual Pork Summit. With the summit’s move to Iowa, several state pork associations assisted, simultaneously conducting a Midwest Pork Summit.

The three-day Pork Summit featured winners of Taste of Elegance competitions hosted by state pork associations, while Iowa’s event included select Midwestern chefs.

The 28 chefs gained an in-depth understanding of pork as a preferred and profitable protein. The event featured food science, butchering and preparation presentations, an introduction of America’s Pig Farmer of the Year® Leon Sheets, Ionia, Iowa; a barn tour and a barbecue clinic.

The chefs put their culinary skills and newfound understanding of pork to work in a market basket challenge. Teams created 40 pork dishes and recipes, which will be featured in restaurant publications and online via

More to Come…
“These Checkoff-funded promotions are representative of numerous programs in play with key national customers, all designed to move large pork supplies,” said Jarrod Sutton, vice president of domestic marketing for the Checkoff.

“We continue to work hard to help our foodservice and retail accounts understand how pork can meet their customers’ flavor and taste demands,” Sutton said. “We also share how pork can help grow their business.”