Barbequed pork sandwiches and pulled pork are pleasing consumers’ taste buds. According to the 2001 Restaurants and Institutions Menu Census, these two pork items are among the dozen foods that are showing the greatest increases as sales gainers. These two options are giving consumers new and refreshing choices to replace the usual hamburger or chicken sandwiches.

In the survey, the barbecued pork sandwich ranked 5th and pulled pork ranked 5th. The pulled pork sandwich, which is cut from the shoulder, rose 59 percent from the survey two years ago.

"Increasing pork usage that comes from shoulder cuts is important because that's a part of the carcass that's typically underutilized," says Steve Schmeichel, a pork producer from Hurley, S.D., and chairman of the National Pork Board's demand enhancement committee.

The magazine survey shows ethnic cuisine most commonly represented by Mexican, Tex-Mex and Chinese entrées. NPB is allocating some of its checkoff funds to further research in Hispanic marketing efforts and plans to start promotions and advertising targeting that area in 2002.