U.S. Hispanics are eating more pork and have a more positive impression of the product, according to National Pork Board research that measured the impact of a 2002 marketing campaign. 

“Implications of the research findings are clear,” says Scott Long, a pork producer from Manteca, Calif., and NPB member. “As a result of campaign efforts, Hispanic consumers are more comfortable buying and eating pork.”

The marketing campaign focused on several metropolitan areas where a high percentage of the population is Hispanic. The slogan “El Cerdo es Bueno” (Pork is Good) encouraged the consumption of U.S. pork and reinforced pork's positive attributes of being delicious, safe and nutritious.

The campaign ran in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston from March through September 2002. It consisted of a variety of advertising and public relations promotions, along with retail marketing efforts.

Regional retail promotions at Jewel, Albertson’s Fiesta Mart, ShopRite, Ralph’s, Food 4 Less, as well as programs through state pork producer associations, resulted in a 10 percent to 25 percent increase in pork sales.

Prior to the campaign, NPB found that while Hispanics considered pork to be the most delicious protein, they also held negative health and food safety perceptions due to experiences in their countries of origin.

Once the campaign ended, NPB conducted 1,805 telephone surveys involving Hispanic consumers in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Chicago and New York.

The results:

  • Awareness of the campaign slogan, “El Cerdo es Bueno,” increased 108 percent. More importantly, Hispanics who were aware of the campaign gave pork higher positive-attribute ratings than individuals who were unaware of the promotions.
  • Awareness of “America’s Pork Producers” increased 71 percent. An important aspect of the marketing campaign was to educate Hispanic consumers about who raises and ensures pork’s safety.
  • Awareness of “Calidad (quality) U.S. Pork” increased by 22 percent.
  • Hispanic consumers purchased pork more frequently and in larger quantities. Overall pork expenditures increased 14 percent.
  • In terms of purchasing frequency, 24 percent more Hispanics said they purchased pork twice in the past two weeks; 23 percent more purchased pork three times in the past two weeks.
  • As for the amount of pork purchased, 42 percent more Hispanics said they purchased enough pork for one week; 150 percent more purchased enough for one month. The percentage of Hispanic consumers who purchased only enough for one meal dropped by 6 percent.
  • Pork was the only protein to show an increase in favorability ratings compared with other proteins.
  • While the research asked about several pork attributes, the highest rating increases went to those emphasized in the NPB campaign:
  • High quality (+13 percent)
  • As nutritious as beef (+9 percent)
  • Good (+10 percent)
  • As low in fat as chicken (+22 percent)

NPB plans to continue the Hispanic Marketing Campaign throughout the year. This will further expand pork’s exposure and market.

Why Hispanics?

The National Pork Board targeted Hispanics because they are the fastest-growing consumer group in the United States. U.S. Census data shows that 14 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, with 52 percent of those individuals at 18 to 49 years of age. 

Based on Census data, the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to reach 70 million by the year 2020. It’s growing 10 times faster than any other segment of the U.S. population.

Hispanics have a purchasing power of about $562 billion, and research shows they consider pork the “most delicious” protein.