Today’s consumer is constantly evolving and asking hard questions about the brands and products they can trust.
On Sept. 1, the National Pork Board will launch a new master-brand strategy that will answer those questions: Real Pork.
“Real Pork not only celebrates the authentic flavors of pork, it encompasses the values and beliefs of the pork industry from farm to fork,” said Angie Krieger, vice president of domestic marketing at the Pork Board. “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. Six months in, consumers are weary of meal preparation, they want new experiences and to travel.”
Throughout the pandemic, pork sales have surged. Krieger says the National Pork Board plans to build on that momentum with consumers to help them see pork in a completely different light.
“Real Pork is going to be integrated in everything that we do here at the National Pork Board. It’s not a campaign. It’s not a logo. It’s not short-term,” she explains. “It’s a brand strategy.”
How is Real Pork different? Unlike National Pork Board campaigns of the past, focused on food, Real Pork is designed to share the authenticity of the entire pork industry with consumers.
“I want pork producers to know first is that Real Pork is about them,” Krieger says. “Everything that we do here at the National Pork Board is intended to bring more value to our products.”
Real Pork is deeply based in consumer insights. Krieger says her team will take those insights and plans to celebrate the product and our practices in a way that will resonate with consumers and capitalize on this growth that we’ve had in 2020 with retail sales.
“We have never really celebrated our farm-to-fork story with consumers. For years, the pork industry has had the We Care program and everything that we do on farm is based in those six ethical principles,” Krieger says. “Real Pork will be the way for us to bring those ethical principles to life for the consumer.”
Pork as a Passport
The first campaign for the Real Pork master brand launches Sept. 1 when the landing page, pork.org/realpork, goes live.
With more families cooking at home, boredom is setting in and people are wanting to try new dishes in the kitchen. Pork as a Passport will help inspire and spark ideas for consumers.
“People are looking for new inspiration. And they haven’t traveled anywhere,” Krieger says. “We can celebrate pork’s global position as the meat of choice with our domestic consumers by showing them flavors from around the world.”
In addition to activities held throughout the year, such as matching pig farmers with global chefs to connect over pork product, the National Pork Board will sponsor the final table at the World Food Championships where pork will be featured. Later this year, they will begin working with a family psychologist to talk about the psychology of family meals and how pork plays into healthy family life.
“What we know from research that’s been done in other spaces is that people have really enjoyed the resurgence of the family meal. People are cooking more meals, and consumers don’t want to lose that,” Krieger says. “But we have to find the right balance because people are also a little bit weary, a little bit bored in their routines. And that’s the way pork can come in with all of these amazing flavor profiles and create experiences for the family.”
The strength of the Real Pork master brand is that it is long term, she says. In the future, they will tie in more of the brand truths around pork: how pork can be good for good for you and your family from a nutritional standpoint and pork’s sustainability story.
Real Pork aims to not only sustain the growth from pandemic purchasing but extend it long term by highlighting pork’s advantages. 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.
Farm Journal’s Pork | Jennifer Shike | August