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U.S. Pork Ribs Featured at Barbecue Competition in New Zealand

Published: Jan 23, 2024

Despite limited market access in Australia and New Zealand, U.S. pork exports to the Oceania region are booming. From Jan.-Nov. 2023, U.S. pork exports to Australia increased 87% by volume and 75% in value, reaching $213.4 million, while exports to New Zealand grew 100% by volume and 48% by value to $34.3 million.

Since pork imports are primarily limited to processed products and deboned pork, most imported U.S. pork is raw material used for further processing. Value-added processed products from the U.S. are also becoming popular in Australia as USMEF works to grow consumer awareness of U.S. pork through promotions at 14 Costco outlets. Retail also offers potential for cooked ribs (boneless in Australia and in New Zealand, bone-in).

USMEF ASEAN Director Sabrina Yin says U.S. pork ribs are now available in a number of retail outlets in New Zealand as USMEF works to grow consumer awareness of U.S. pork and build retail demand for pork ribs.

At the “Let There Be Meat” competition in Christchurch, New Zealand, with 115,000 attendees, the U.S. St. Louis sparerib was the rib item used by all participants during the competition. U.S. rib samples were also barbecued and provided as samples to attendees.

“Barbecue competitions are very popular in New Zealand and one of our goals is to grow awareness about the availability of U.S. pork ribs,” says Yin. “We are targeting competitions and events so we can directly reach barbecue lovers and rib lovers.”

Funding support was provided by the National Pork Board.

U.S. St. Louis spareribs served as the rib item for all competitors at the “Let There Be Meat” barbecue competition in Christchurch, New Zealand. St. Louis ribs were also prepared and served as sample items for attendees.