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Social Media Boosts Beef/Pork Visibility in South Korea

Published: Jun 17, 2013

Well-known cooking instructor and recipe specialist, Noda Kim, had the couples prepare recipes with U.S. grilled CT butt and braised pork belly

Through the eyes – and taste buds – of a group of interested South Korean consumers, thousands of Koreans are getting an up-close introduction to U.S. beef and pork.

Combining good, old-fashioned cooking classes with trendy social media websites, USMEF-Korea recently brought three small-scale events to the attention of a broad audience of targeted Korean consumers.

Developed with funding support from the Beef Checkoff Program and the United Soybean Board, the consumer-focused initiative included three unique classes:

  • “Pork Makeover” — this program involved 15 couples, mostly active bloggers who would write about the event. To broaden the visibility of the class, USMEF engaged two high-profile partners: popular Japanese fusion-style restaurant Noda Bowl, which proudly features U.S. pork; and leading food and cookery internet site

The couples' cooking class was promoted to 1 million members of the 11st shopping club

  • “My Best Romantic Steak Dinner” — the theme for a cooking class that drew seven couples in their 30s and 40s, all members of event cosponsor and internet shopping mall
  • Popular women’s internet website Ezyday partnered with USMEF on a two-hour cooking class for 20 people

    Yang also noted that the willingness of Internet shopping sites to promote U.S. beef and pork was encouraging, since these are sites that many young Korean women frequent to get ideas on what food to buy and how to prepare it for their families.

    “The owner of The Delicacies & Cookery Paradise drove several hours to Seoul just to sit in on our class,” said Yang. “He said that it was great seeing his members enjoying the class, and that he plans to continue supporting USMEF cooking classes.”

    Through the first four months of 2013, South Korea is the No. 5 export market for both U.S. beef and pork, having purchased 43,613 metric tons (96.1 million pounds) of U.S. pork valued at $119.1 million and 37,886 metric tons (83.5 million pounds) of U.S. beef valued at $199.7 million.