Pork Pot Stickers

Ground pork has great flavor and it’s versatile.

Eating habits have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in some lesser-known meat products becoming more popular.

Such is the case with ground pork, says Neal Hull, director of channel marketing with the National Pork Board. He says since March, sales are up 27%. At one time, sales were up as high as 70%.

“We started researching ground pork in 2018 and then again this spring,” he says. “It’s one of those things that fits into about any recipe.”

Hull says the data indicates 45% of the households that bought ground pork were not buying it a year ago, and nine out of 10 are likely to purchase it again.

“They like ground pork,” he says.

Hull says like many pork products, ground pork offers versatility to the consumer.

“It’s one of those things that is as simple as making a patty and it’s ready to go,” he says.

As new people discover ground pork and other products, Hull says it is important to be able to educate consumers on its use and how to prepare it.

“We are having a dialog with processors and retailers to make sure consumers are able to find ground pork in the store,” he says. “There are some recipes on pork.org, and we are working to develop more. That’s part of the conversation we continue to have — to give consumers more usage ideas.”

Hull says he expects to see more and more ground pork served in U.S. households.

“It has great flavor and it’s versatile,” he says. “Ground pork has really been a bright spot for our industry.”

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Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.