PORK CAMPAIGN FATTENING HISPANIC RETAIL PROGRAM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The success of the National Pork Board's Hispanic marketing campaign has inspired the organization to increase its scope from five markets to 12, in order to include a number of Hispanic metro areas in the United States."We are very pleased with the results of the ["El Cerdo es Bueno"] campaign to date," said Karen Boillot, the NPB's director of retail marketing. "We will continue

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The success of the National Pork Board's Hispanic marketing campaign has inspired the organization to increase its scope from five markets to 12, in order to include a number of Hispanic metro areas in the United States.

"We are very pleased with the results of the ["El Cerdo es Bueno"] campaign to date," said Karen Boillot, the NPB's director of retail marketing. "We will continue our strategy of Hispanic advertising and PR, tied with key Hispanic retail promotions within these markets."

The campaign, which translates to "Pork is Good," has shown a 200% increase in awareness since its introduction two years ago. First instituted in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Chicago, the campaign will be introduced to markets in Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, San Antonio, McAllen, Texas, and El Paso, Texas, reaching 12 of the top 15 Hispanic metro areas in the country.

Retailers, such as Fiesta Mart, Houston; Food City, Phoenix; and Chicago-based Jewel, have profited from the success of the campaign. Boillot said the program proved to be an effective tool in impacting the pork-buying tendencies among Hispanics within the campaign areas, where consumers bought 43% more pork after exposure to the campaign.

Ethnic flavors are indeed spicing up the pork category, though it was convenience that stole the show at this year's Consumer's Choice Pork Awards announced earlier this spring.

The National Pork Board whittled the number of contestants from 100 down to 10, allowing consumers the final call on which products would receive the highest honors.

Indeed, most of the finalists were geared toward time-saving of some kind -- from pre-sliced and ready-to-eat or simply pre-marinated and easy-to-prepare. The top five choices covered all dayparts as well, from lunch meat like Black Forest Ham from Hormel Foods Corp., to the more elegant Pork Crown Roast from Iowa Quality Meats that came with a set of gold foil booties.

Also in the top five were Swift Premium Pepper Grill Pork Filet Fresh Roasters from Swift and Co., Sara Lee's Hillshire Farm Deli Select Ultra Thin Smoked Ham and Lupo's Stir Fry Teriyaki Pork from Sam A. Lupo & Sons.

"These products make it clear that pork holds a special place in today's kitchens, from everyday meals and snacks to special occasions," said Becca Hendricks, NPB's strategic marketing manager.

Besides winning a golden fork trophy, finalists were awarded the right to use the official Consumer's Choice Pork Awards winner's seal in merchandising efforts, as well as the opportunity to use the publicity generated by the contest in their own marketing campaigns.