The National Pork Board is seeking nominations of new pork items for its fourth annual Consumers' Choice Pork Awards. The 2005 program's call for nominations begins Oct. 11, with a final deadline of Dec. 10, 2004. 

“This awards program honors the best in pork-based items in supermarkets around the nation,” says Tom Floy, a pork producer from Thornton, Iowa, and member of NPB’s demand enhancement committee.  “These range from test-market concepts to nationally distributed product brands.” 

Nominations are solicited from anyone with a vested interest in pork products— producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, media professionals and consumers.  All are encouraged to submit their favorite products. 

Historically, entries have included a broad range of pork items that fit into everyday meals and snacks to special dishes.

“Overall, taste has been paramount in judging criteria, but convenience has played an important role as well,” explains Floy.  “Convenience means different things to different people, from packaging, to speed and ease of preparation.  In the first few years of the program, we've seen that consumers recognize pork as a tasty, healthy and easy option for today’s lifestyles.”

New this year, the program will honor pork items that exhibit a unique and inventive approach to product development products that stand out with the Esteemed Trendsetters Award. Specifically, it will consider cutting-edge concepts in areas such as research and development, cut usage, packaging, flavoring or convenience.  This new honor will allow additional recognition for innovative products and their contribution to the industry.

The 2005 Consumer’s Choice Pork Award winners will receive the Golden Fork award and exclusive use of the program's award seal for merchandising efforts.  Winners also benefit from a publicity campaign sponsored by NPB.

Entries are first narrowed by a committee of food-industry professionals, followed by a consumer panel that judges the product finalists based on attributes of taste, lifestyle fit, product appeal and purchase intent. Five products receive the highest distinction of Consumer’s Choice Pork Award winners.

Nomination forms are available on the Internet at www.porkboard.org, by sending an e-mail to consumerschoice@porkboard.org or by calling the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-PORK.

National Pork Board