Real pork logo

The shift in buying and eating habits of consumers has led to a new effort for the U.S. pork industry. The National Pork Board unveiled its Real Pork “master brand” last week.

“This is not a campaign, but a master brand,” says Angie Krieger, vice president of domestic marketing for the pork board. “We want this represent all of our cultures and beliefs.”

The strategy “invites consumers to experience the authenticity, flavor and ability to bring people together that Real Pork provides,” the pork board said in a news release.

Krieger says work on the brand began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts were increased to develop and release the brand as consumers eat more pork.

“Our work began on this master-brand strategy before the coronavirus appeared in the United States, but the shift in buying and cooking habits the pandemic created certainly accelerated our efforts,” she says. “Six months in, consumers are weary of meal preparation, they want new experiences and to travel. We want to capitalize on the momentum.”

Krieger says as consumers continue to cook at home due to the pandemic, they are purchasing new pork products and trying new recipes. She says Real Pork will help sustain the growth in pork consumption and demand, but will also provide a long-term strategy by focusing on the advantages of the protein.

“Those advantages begin in the barn, so telling the authentic stories of pig farmers and pig farms — and how pork’s sustainability creates a protein consumers can feel good about feeding their family — will be a critical part of how Real Pork comes to life,” the pork board said in a news release.

Real Pork is being introduced to consumers via the Pork as a Passport program, an effort to celebrate pork as the most consumed protein in the world.

“It encourages small adventures for weary quarantine cooks by showcasing delicious pork dishes from next door and across the globe,” the pork board said.

Krieger says several different activities are planned, including matching pork producers with global chefs, highlighting globally inspired pork recipes, engaging a family psychologist to provide insight about the importance of family meals and highlighting pork through street food in a multicultural effort called Menu Urbano.

Activities will be posted on the new landing page, www.pork.org/realpork and the National Pork Board Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

“This is unlike anything we’ve done before,” Krieger says. “This has been an incredibly difficult year for our industry, but we feel the future is incredibly bright.”

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