U.S. pork's advantages highlighted at Foodservice Australia

With a goal of reaching cafés, quick-serve restaurants and catering operators in the Oceania region's growing urban centers, USMEF promoted U.S. pork products at Foodservice Australia. This year's show, held at the Royal Hall of Industries in Sydney, attracted more than 5,000 buyers. USMEF, which received funding from the USDA Market Access Program and the Pork Checkoff, was participating for the first time, using the opportunity to showcase U.S. pork's advantage over competitors.

"This event is smaller in scale than Fine Food Australia, but the focus is on buyers from a fast-growing part of the foodservice industry in Australia and surrounding areas," said Feon Wong, a manager in USMEF's Singapore office. "It's an aspect of the market that is a good fit for U.S. pork and we were able to share a lot of information with buyers who may not have had a lot of knowledge of our product. The interaction with Oceania buyers was very positive as we stressed the advantage of U.S. pork over the countries that we are competing with in the region."

USMEF's display featured a chiller filled with a range of U.S. pork products, including precooked bacon, sliced pepperoni, pulled pork with barbecue sauce, braised pork belly, cooked riblet patties with barbecue sauces and pork meatballs. Recipes for the dishes and other ideas for U.S. pork were shared with visitors, along with tasting samples.

"There was a lot of genuine interest from buyers at the show and we received many favorable comments, especially on the braised pork belly and riblet patties," said Nicole Dehnert, a representative for Colby International, a USMEF member and Colorado-based export management company that has an office in Australia. Dehnert said she arranged to follow up with restaurant managers and chefs she met during the show by sending them additional U.S. pork samples.

Tasting samples of U.S. pork were offered, as well as factsheets and guides detailing advantages of the product

USMEF also distributed promotional materials and brochures on U.S. pork, including charts, pre-cooked bacon brochures and U.S. pork foodservice guides and factsheets.

Despite limiting imports of U.S. pork to heat-treated products and raw material for further processing, Australia has been a solid customer. Through June, U.S. pork exports to Australia were up 11 percent (to 33,249 metric tons) compared to the first half of last year, making it the sixth-largest single-country destination for U.S. pork. This follows a strong performance in 2015, when exports climbed 15 percent to 57,763 metric tons.