The National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa; the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), Denver, Colo.; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C., announced plans to engage in a foresight-based marketing study called Pork 2040, which will investigate changing consumer attitudes and trends in developed and emerging U.S. pork export markets in 17 defined countries.
“Previous international marketing studies centered only on quantitative statistics to define demand, production and market access,” says Bill Luckey, chair of the Checkoff’s International Marketing committee and a pork producer from Columbus, Neb. “This unique effort will be more comprehensive, investigating the relevant qualitative factors that shape consumer opinion and hence markets. The study will focus on forecasting the pork and pork product demand landscape over the next several decades to help determine where best to invest our limited Checkoff resources.”
The Pork 2040 research will also assess trends in the development of new production and marketing technologies, as well as in growing environmental concerns and in emerging legal, trade and regulatory regimes around the globe.
“Comprehensive research is vital to our international marketing planning and forecasting in order to stay ahead of the curve,” Luckey says. “We must take proactive steps to market products in both current and emerging markets well into the future.”
China, which has a growing and increasingly urban population base, will be the first country studied through the Pork 2040 lens. A research platform will enable the U.S. pork industry to design and implement a long-term strategy for U.S. pork consumption in China and add context to one of the most critical export markets.
“By forecasting where pork and pork product demand is heading in China, the Pork Checkoff and its partners can return value to U.S. pig farmers through a defined and united focus on growing export demand,” says Craig Morris, vice president of international marketing for the Pork Checkoff.
The Emerging Markets Program will provide initial funding for the project, which will enable teams of experts to assess consumer trends, attitudes and behaviors that influence China’s food system needs and the subsequent ability to increase U.S. exports into the region.
“Pork 2040 will help decision-makers in business, government and non-profit organizations understand and accommodate the myriad challenges facing our pork industry stakeholders,” Morris says. “Challenges routinely surface from ever-evolving factors that affect the global food system, and we need to be better informed about circumstances potentially within our control and influence.”