Creating meal magic in minutes becomes an adventure at the Taste of Home Cooking School, where pork has been a showstopper this fall, reports the National Pork Board (NPB). For the second year, NPB is a national sponsor of the Taste of Home Cooking School, which runs through early December. Shows are being held in 145 U.S. cities, with up to 1,000 people attending each one.

“The great benefit of participating in the Taste of Home Cooking School is the ability to engage directly with our target consumers, who are interested in cooking and are looking for new ideas,” says Laurie Bever, NPB’s consumer marketing director. At each show, a recipe for Pulled Pork Tostadas with Slaw and Chipotle Cream is being demonstrated to attendees, who also learn how pulled pork can be used for a variety of dishes.

“The shows create a lot of buzz and cooking excitement for favorite pork dishes that people can make time and time again,” Bever says. She points out that more than 100,000 people attended the Taste of Home Cooking School in 2011.

To encourage the cooking-school attendees to cook with pork, NPB is offering a coupon for $1 off any fresh pork product. The coupon and pork recipes appear in the cooking show magazine, which is distributed in a gift bag to attendees. NPB offered a similar coupon at the 2011 cooking schools and received a tremendous response.

“While a successful coupon-redemption rate is around 3 percent, our redemption rate was 8 percent,” Bever notes.

NPB reports the Taste of Home Cooking School research from last year’s shows also showed positive engagement with attendees:

  • 84 percent had a positive opinion of pork
  • 75 percent were likely to purchase pork
  • 66 percent were likely to recommend pork
  • 59 percent had/will make the featured recipe

“We’re trying to influence a large group of people with our advertising and promotions, so we have to make our (pork) checkoff investments work hard,” Bever says. “Sponsoring the Taste of Home Cooking School offers an effective way to bring pork top of mind to active home cooks and continue to inspire their use and creativity with pork.”