"Pork. The Other White Meat" won't work in the Hispanic market because the definitions of "white" and "red" meat are different for Hispanic consumers. More importantly, Hispanics are extremely sensitive to health and safety issues surrounding pork. The way it is used in this context, "good" in Spanish can mean many things, from good for you, to good tasting or good vs. evil, as is illustrated with the halo.

Keep in mind, "70 percent of Hispanics were born outside of the United States, so their consumer experiences are shaped by their countries of origin," says George San Jose, president and chief operating officer of The San Jose Group, a Chicago-based Hispanic marketing and communications group.

"The 'Pork is good' slogan will become as meaningful to the Hispanic culture as 'The Other White Meat' slocgan has for the last 15 years for our general market audience," says John Hagerla, NPB assistant vice president, Retail/Foodservice Marketing. (For more background on Hispanic views about pork, see Pork Quality Link in the February issue of Pork).

"This initial education campaign is the foundation of all future communications for this market.It will increase demand as the audience realizes they can feel comfortable eating the meat they love," explains producer Steve Schmeichel, NPB Demand Enhancement Committee chairman.

While researching this virtually untapped market, health was a key issue frequently mentioned. Not only did Hispanic women want to know the health facts, they also wanted comparisons and the source of the information. The print advertisement says, "Pork is good." The Chart says "Feed your knowledge," and then provides calorie comparisons as follows:

Calories per piece
(For every 3 ounces, cooked and trimmed)
Pork tenderloin – roasted – 139
Skinless chicken breast – roasted – 140
Salmon – dry heat/baked – 175
Beef tenderloin – broiled – 175
Source: USDA Handbook 8 Series

A second advertisement connects Hispanic shoppers to their countries of origin. Translated, this ad says, "The New Latin Classics. Mole de Cerdo (a traditional Mexican dish) Pork is good." While mole is popular, it is usually made with chicken (Mole de Pollo). This type of marketing will encourage Hispanic cooks to use pork in new ways in their authentic dishes. This, along with educational advertising encourages the Hispanic shopper to eat pork more often.

NPB research notes that in Hispanic homes, the female head of the household is responsible for planning, shopping and preparing meals for the family. Deciding what to make sometimes happens the night before, but most often at the store based on:

  • What kids are in the mood for or need nutritionally (the well-being of the children in the Hispanic family is a top priority).
  • Ensuring that the family is eating a variety of proteins and vegetables over the course of the week.
  • What looks fresh or appetizing, and what's on sale.

While Hispanics consider pork the most delicious meat and are addressing health and safety issues, they also are looking for a trade brand. Hence, NPB created a Hispanic version of the Pork-pick logo. All of the marketing materials will have this new logo with the line "Calidad U.S. Pork" which means, "U.S. Pork Quality," reinforcing the message that pork is high quality. This consistent quality message will assist NPB in driving home the message that pork is safe, healthy and delicious.

"We are capitalizing on continuity and multiple impressions with our Pork pick logo," says Scott Long, member of the Pork Board and Demand Enhancement Committee. "Anyone, Hispanic or not, who sees our marketing campaign will associate pork with quality and/or The Other White Meat. Hispanics want a trusted third party to stand behind pork and NPB can do that. "Checkoff dollars are helping us reach this untapped market to further enhance demand for pork, giving us another opportunity to benefit pork producers," adds Hagerla.

Start looking for "El Cerdo es Bueno" the first week in April in three test markets, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston, based on their Hispanic populations. These three states have 9.6 million Hispanics, which represents 21 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population. NPB will reach 83 percent of the Hispanics in these three markets during the six-month campaign.

In addition, NPB plans to do some targeted retail marketing promotions in these markets throughout the year. Their respective states also can use the marketing materials.

"Initially we'll be focusing on changing perceptions and letting the Hispanic community know that pork is healthy and safe by conveying the 'pork is good' message, which will also reiterate that pork is delicious," says Hagerla. "Once we've changed perceptions, we'll set specific marketing goals as we move into more specific retail marketing programs to increase demand and consumption of pork."

As the campaign progresses, NPB will look at expanding "El Cerdo es Bueno" into other major retail markets across the U.S.