13 March 2011 - Are you Inspired?

It may be these complicated times in which we live, or it may be the ‘maturing process’, which is my term for getting older, but it seems to me in my life every day, there are more questions than answers. But I am lucky. I have you, my readers, and I can turn to you for enlightenment, direction and advice. This week the subject is advertising slogans, because two of the best known advertising slogans in the world have come from the agricultural community, from beef and pork check-off dollars.

“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner”; and “Pork, the other white meat.” But now, after 24 years, the National Pork Board told us a few days ago “No. We are not going to call it the other white meat anymore; we have a new slogan and we are launching an $11-million-dollar ad campaign to target the estimated 82-million Americans who already eat pork.” Well, after the success of “Pork, the other white meat” I was anxious to see the new advertising line and here it is...“Pork, be inspired.” “Be inspired” for what? Or to do what? I realize change is necessary and I know you can’t go with the same line forever, but one pork producer
e-mailed me “What about the age-old line ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Pork, the other white meat still works for me.”

The National Pork Board has its reasons for searching for new ways to attract consumers to pork. Per capita consumption is slipping, down 2.2 lbs. last year to 48 lbs according to USDA, placing it third behind chicken and beef in the U.S. market. Beef sales have also declined, but part of the reason, I’m sure, is the economic downturn and the price advantage that chicken has over pork and beef.

I was surprised that the new campaign is not aimed at attracting new consumers, but the goal is to convince current pork consumers to use more pork in their menus by urging them to be inspired to be more creative with pork recipes. With thousands of new cooks and family households being created every week in this country, it seems to me you must work to attract them to “the other white meat’ to increase sales and consumption.

I hope I’m wrong because pork check-off dollars are precious dollars that must be spent wisely to benefit producer income and consumer satisfaction, but “Pork, Be Inspired” just doesn’t do it for me and for me it raises more questions than answers. But, how about you? Does “Pork, be inspired” resonate with you as a producer; as a consumer does it encourage you to go out and buy more pork and find new ways to enjoy it? I would like to hear from you. You can e-mail me at orion@agbizweek.com.

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