Pork Products Growing Fast in Foodservice

According to an annual study on foodservice sales – pork has been the fastest growing protein within the foodservice industry over the past two-years. Pork Checkoff Director of Foodservice Marketing Stephen Gerike says this is significant news…

“Pork sales and food service has increased quite a bit over the last two years, but more importantly, since the beginning of the recession that hit the food service market pretty hard in 2008. We have not only recovered what the food service industry lost, but we have outpaced the industry and the amount of pork that was being sold prior to the recession.”

Pork sold through foodservice outlets reached a record 9.25-billion pounds this past year. Gerike says this growth is positive news for the pork industry…

“Not only did pork really outpace the other competitive proteins, but we actually grew faster than the entire food service segment as a whole. Restaurateurs are adding sales by adding pork.”

The study – which is conducted by Technomic Inc. – reinforces results released by USDA that as of July 31st – frozen pork supplies held in inventory were down 3.5-percent in June. That reduction reflects strong pork demand.
Gerike says pulled pork in particular, has been a huge success story. Gerike says the versatility of the pork shoulder and pulled pork is one reason for that success…

 “We have focused on getting away from pork as just BBQ with sauce already on it, and for them to procure a fully cooked pork shoulder that is pulled and they can go ahead and flavor as they like. It really lends one product to a lot of different varieties of sandwiches.”

Sales of fresh and processed pork products grew most aggressively in the areas of breakfast protein and snacks. However – gains were seen throughout the day…

 “We are really equally distributed among breakfast, lunch and dinner. We did see an increase in PM snacking, which is not a big percentage of sales as a whole.”

The Technomic Inc. study showed that of the 24 pork product categories reviewed – 22 demonstrated a positive sales growth.
North Carolina is the second largest pork producing state in the country.

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