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National Pork Board promotes and markets pork in the U.S.

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) fosters community and professional development among individuals who create and apply science to efficiently provide safe and high-quality meat.

National Pork Board (NPB) Senior Vice President of Market Growth Dr. David Newman and NPB Director of Nutrition Research Dr. Kristen Hicks-Roof were the guest speakers on an AMSA webinar which took place in October 2023, discussing nutritional contributions of pork in the diet and the research being conducted to continually evaluate and improve pork value and quality.

Following the webinar, Newman was a guest on MeatsPad, the official podcast of AMSA, where he offers insights on promoting and marketing pork, emphasizing its value and discussing innovative strategies for diverse consumer engagement. 

During the MeatsPad podcast, which aired Nov. 28, 2023, Newman elaborates on marketing challenges, his expertise in enhancing pork’s market standing and the ongoing innovations in pork fabrication. 

At both virtual events, Newman discusses consumer perceptions, market dynamics and efforts to reshape public views on the nutritional benefits of pork.

Pork Checkoff

Prior to Newman’s employment with the Pork Checkoff, he was a professor at Arkansas State University and served as the leader of the meat science program and the university’s swine research facility. 

Newman obtained his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Missouri and his PhD in meat and animal science from North Dakota State University. He has extensive knowledge in meat science and muscle biology.

Today, he leads a team of professionals at NPB, tasked with growing market demand domestically and internationally, as well as the organization’s health and nutrition research and outreach.

Newman explains, “The NPB is driven to meet consumer expectations guided by pork producers, and we aspire to do what is right for people, pigs and the planet. We are dedicated to understanding and meeting the needs of U.S. pork stakeholders.”

He further notes NPB is empowered by the Pork Act and Order, and the goal of checkoff dollars is achieving strategic objectives through promotion, research and education.

“A fee of 35 cents per $100 in value is assessed to the seller at the time of sale and is remitted to NPB, which is different than other checkoffs,” he adds.

Addressing challenges with solutions

“We are seeing significant challenges. Producers are going through a very interesting time,” Newman expresses. “Baby Boomers are the pork industry’s primary volume consumer, but they are aging out, resulting in loss of volume so pork’s base consumer is shrinking.”

“NPB has been focused on meeting Baby Boomers’ needs for over 25 years, and now it’s time we understand what the future consumer wants,” he reiterates.

“Fresh pork is running the risk of becoming obsolete among younger generations. We are not talking bacon or processed meats,” Newman continues. “Looking at the forecasted data, if the industry doesn’t capture younger consumers at a faster rate, annual consumption will decline 2.2 pounds over the next 10 years, which is a significant amount of pork.”

According to NPB, in order to support pork producers, the board has been aggressively deploying Pork Checkoff dollars in domestic and international markets to drive both volume and demand and are focused to position pork to more households, sell more pork to consumers and ultimately drive consumption through more eating occasions. 

“Our market growth efforts are not just about selling more pork, but they are about creating long-term demand,” he remarks. “NPB has identified millennial moms as a key consumer audience. Motivated by taste, nutrition and simple meal preparation, millennial moms are a target audience for NPB’s newest platform, ʻSurprisingly Pork.ʼ”

This is a vision to showcase pork in a new light, emphasizing pork is good for consumers and good for the planet.

NPB efforts are to grow domestic market demand, and in 2023, they invested $10.1 million for domestic marketing, $11 million for international marketing and $8.1 million for human nutrition.

“We always talked about 1998 as the worst year ever, but 2023, collectively, will be worse than 1998,” Newman concludes.

Newman reminds listeners demand still remains the biggest challenge, and hurdles created by Proposition 12 in California and Question Three in Massachusetts have not gone away and could impact sales in 2024.

To combat these hurdles, NPB is working to bring pork into the forefront to talk about easy meals and getting consumers away from processed pork to the fresh pork case.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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