New concepts of Heartland beef and pork dishes grabbed attention at Foodex Japan

March 15, 2018 – Noting that booming meat demand among Japanese consumers continues to gain momentum, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reports that it seized the opportunity by introducing new and unique beef and pork dishes – many of which originated in the Heartland – at Asia’s largest food trade show last week at Foodex Japan.

Foodex 2018

“Exporters met with hundreds of buyers and representatives of Japan’s retail and foodservice industries and the samples we served attracted tremendous traffic,” said Greg Hanes, USMEF assistant vice president for international marketing and programs. “This year we were really focused on new trends and menu concepts. We brought in several companies that import food and educated them on these concepts, then let them taste the dishes for themselves. That’s an important step for winning new customers in Japan.”

The event attracted more than 80,000 visitors over four days (March 6-9), and were funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the Beef Checkoff Program, the Pork Checkoff and the Texas Beef Council. USMEF is a contractor to the beef checkoff.

Set up inside the USA Pavilion, USMEF shared information and educated food buyers about the advantage of US beef and pork over the products of competitors – many of whom also participated in Foodex.

“Japan is one of the largest importers of food in the world and they also pay some of the highest premiums,” explained Mr. Hanes, “That’s why Foodex is such an important trade show. Exporters from Canada, Mexico, China, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America were there to try to capture a greater the share of the market.”

USMEF’s booth included a dedicated area where Heartland red meat exporters could meet one-on-one with buyers, and a special kitchen area allowed USMEF chefs to prepare US beef and pork tasting samples over the course of the event.

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