July is Pork Month in Alabama, and across the state, families are being introduced to the versatility of “The Other White Meat,” thanks to the promotion efforts of Alabama Pork Producers and the National Pork Board.Whether they are driving in their cars, shopping for groceries or enjoying a baseball outing with the kids, shoppers will be reminded to fire up their grills this month and savor the sizzle of pork.Brian Hardin, director of Alabama Pork Producers, a division of the Alabama Farmers Federation, said the producer-funded advertising campaign is focused on the Birmingham market and will build on last year’s successful promotion efforts.”Alabama Pork Producers has made a concerted effort to promote its product more to Alabama citizens. Last year, we began doing this through increased print advertising and billboard advertising in the metropolitan areas,” Hardin said. “Since the Birmingham area has the largest concentration of population in the state, we felt like increased advertising there would provide the greatest return on the investment of pork-producer dollars.”This year, the advertising campaign includes radio spots on WZZK (104.7 FM) and WBPT – The Point (106.9 FM). The humorous ads were produced by the National Pork Board and were tagged with “brought to you by Alabama Pork Producers.” A recipe contest is planned in association with the radio campaign. The contest will be featured in the Birmingham News, and chefs from Bruno’s supermarkets will judge the recipes during July Pork Month.Pork also is on the menu at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium this summer where a giant scoreboard sign encourages Birmingham Barons fans to “buy me some peanuts and pork kabobs.” The Alabama Pork Producers sponsorship of the Barons includes in-game broadcast advertising and a sampling night at the stadium.Other pork promotion efforts this year include “Memphis in May” and Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned barbecue championships in Sylacauga, Mobile and Andalusia; a pork cooking contest at the Alabama National Fair; and weekly cooking segments on Montgomery’s WSFA-TV 12 during the month of July.Hardin said the National Pork Board has agreed to share the cost of the advertising campaign.”The opportunity to partner with the National Pork Board on ‘out-of-home’ promotions has really helped us stretch our checkoff budget. In addition to promoting pork to eat, we feel the positive and fun advertising also helps create a positive image for our farmers that put pork on the plates of Alabama families.”National Pork Board has responsibility for checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects. Pork producers invest 40 cents for each $100 value of hogs sold to fund these efforts.National Pork Campaign Features Alabama ChefThis summer, much of the National Pork Board’s promotion activities will focus on teaching consumers fast and easy ways to bring the flavor of slow-cooked, authentic barbecue to their backyard grills. This national campaign features one of Alabama’s own–four-time Memphis in May world barbecue master Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q in Decatur.”I’m a self-proclaimed addict. I just can’t get enough of the tender, smoke-infused flavor of pork slow-cooked to perfection over the smoldering coals of a barbecue pit,” said Lilly. “But with my busy schedule and growing family, making a meal at home often calls for quick weeknight solutions.”Lilly is not alone in this mealtime dilemma. America’s home cooks are seeking to strike a balance between great taste and convenient meal preparation methods. According to a survey by the National Pork Board, 82 percent of Americans say they prefer to barbecue on weekends. However, Lilly says many busy home cooks in search of speedy weeknight meal solutions may not realize that they need look no further than quick-cooking cuts of meat, such as pork chops and tenderloin, and their own backyard grill. For authentic barbecue flavor in a flash Lilly suggests:• Fire up the grill before you start so it’s “all systems go” when the ingredients are ready.• Instead of slow-cooking a pork shoulder, grill a pork tenderloin. Shred, slice and sauce the tenderloin for an easy barbecue-style sandwich.• Add your personal touch to a bottled barbecue sauce by “doctoring it up” with undiluted fruit juice concentrate, fruit preserves, mustard, salsa, soy sauce, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey or red pepper flakes.• For a quick flavor boost, prepare a bulk supply of your favorite rub in a sealed plastic canister so you’re ready to grill on short notice.• When grilling fast-cooking pork cuts, ensure tender, juicy results by removing the meat from the grill when its internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.More grilling tips and recipes are available online at www.otherwhitemeat.com. Click on the offers area to order “Hot Topics,” the National Pork Board’s ultimate guide to pork and grilling.
Producers Heat Up Promotion Efforts For July Pork Month