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New cut names help spark pork sales

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:52 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:37 a.m. CST
(Ty Rushing/Newton Daily News)
This pork display at Newton Hy Vee showcases various pork products. In April, The National Pork Board changed the name of four pork cuts to names that had previously been excluded to beef products. The rebranding was done in conjunction with the National Cattleman’s Beef Association after an 18-month study.

Despite being the world’s most consumed meat, the National Pork Board is still looking for more ways to promote “the other white meat.” It launched Pork Social, the pork-based social network in February, and in April it rebranded several names of popular pork cuts.

The Loin/Iowa Chop is now known as the Pork Porterhouse Chop, the Pork Rib Chop Center is now the Pork Ribeye Chop-bone-in, the bone out version is just the Pork Ribeye Chop and finally the Top Loin Chop is now the Pork New York Chop.

The rebranding of names was done in conjunction with the National Cattleman’s Beef Association after an 18-month research period.  Confusion among consumers was one of the purposes for the change, and Director of Retail Marketing for the Pork Checkoff Patrick Fleming commented on the matter in the July 2013 issue of Iowa Pork Producer.

“Research shows that consumers buy cuts they are familiar with,” Fleming said. “Now, once they get their New York chop or Ribeye chop home, they can grill it in the way they’re familiar with.”

“As of late spring, more than 1,425 news stories about the new pork cut names had resulted in more than 230 million consumer impressions,” Fleming said. “The news also has spread quickly throughout social media.”

Newton Hy-Vee Meat Manager Kevin Gries talked about the name changes impact within the chain.

“The Pork Porterhouse Chop aka The Iowa Chop, which is basically a big loin on one side and tenderloin on the other side is the same concept as the Beef Porterhouse Steak,” Gries said.  “Company-wide the Pork Ribeye Chop and Pork Porterhouse are the big ones (they are pushing). I haven’t heard as much about the others.”

The recent efforts by the pork board seem to be paying off, as June pork sales are up 14.3 percent compared to numbers from 2012, according to the Daily Livestock Report.  President of the National Pork Board Karen Richter spoke about the matter in a press release.

“At a point in time when pork production is high and domestic supplies are up, this shift in inventories is great news for our producers,” Richter said. “This market shift demonstrates that pork is hot right now and has a momentum that continues to build throughout the traditional summer grilling season.”