Peak Pork Sales Coincide with Summer Grilling Season


Summer is an important time for retail pork sales. Nearly two-thirds of the annual pork volume takes place during this time period. Pork Checkoff director of market intelligence and innovation Patrick Fleming says that strength was certainly seen last year…

“From Memorial Day through Labor Day we did over $4 billion in sales last year during the key holiday season.  And that encompasses all the pork products, bellies, chops, throats, sausage, ribs.  So, a very strong period.  Some of the end dollar sales we actually outsold chicken during that promotional period.”         

The Pork Checkoff works closely with food retailers and foodservice companies to help those industry partners to drive consumer traffic. Fleming says grilling is part of that process. For many consumers, grilling is an excellent way to introduce increase awareness about pork…

“This year we had a retinal campaign, ‘grill it like a steak’, which is the same kind of concept.  If you’re confident in grilling a beef cut on the grill, you can be confident in grilling pork because the end point cooking temperatures are the same; 145 for a medium rare pork chop with a three-minute rest, USDA.  So, if you like a medium rare steak, you can do a medium rare pork chop, if you’re confident doing that, pork is easier.

“So, that grilling experience, I think you’re absolutely right, is a lot easier to get people in to try, plus grilling is fun, and a social event.  And pork has the products that can fill that need.”

For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service by going to Pork-dot org or call 800-456-PORK.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.