Just one month after the consumer launch of the new brand, Pork® Be inspiredsm, the National Pork Board is starting to see results, National Pork Board President Everett Forkner told reporters Wednesday at World Pork Expo in Des Moines.
"The rollout of the Checkoff’s Pork Be inspired began with a challenge set forth in the National Pork Board’s five-year strategic plan," said Forkner, a pork producer from Richards, Mo. "Preliminary national consumer information on how well the campaign is changing behaviors won’t be available until later this summer, but the early results are encouraging.
Forkner noted the early results show the numbers of consumers who have clicked on the Pork Be inspired online advertisements that started in April are far above the industry average. Also, the number of fans on facebook.com/PorkBeInspired has tripled. In addition, there have been over 3,200 media stories on the brand launch, with 85 percent mentioning Pork Be inspired.
"During our Board meeting yesterday, we decided to extend the reach of the Pork Be inspired campaign by implementing an additional $5 million for advertising this year," Forkner said.
Progress also is being made in the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) program. As of June 1, more than 14,590 sites representing 67.5 percent of the U.S. pig inventory have been independently assessed, and 52,578 individual producers are participating in PQA Plus.
"With more producers than ever participating in the program, the industry has made great strides, but more needs to be done," Forkner said. "The PQA Plus certification program is an important step, but demonstrating and documenting our commitment to the PQA Plus good production practices through the site assessment process are vital to the success of the program."
Forkner commented on another success stemming from Pork Checkoff-funded research, an announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) that pork can be consumed safely when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time.
"The new recommendation evolved through a series of Checkoff-funded research projects that looked at consumer eating preferences and safety of pork at various temperatures," Forkner said. "Consumers can now enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy – and safe – temperature."
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.
Source: National Pork Board