Demand for takeout and delivery reached new heights in Japan during the pandemic, and the foodservice sector responded by developing new menu ideas for customers.

U.S. Meat Export Federation sees opportunity for U.S. pork loin and has worked with leading chefs to develop fried pork recipes for the foodservice sector. Called Butakara (fried pork in Kara-age style), nine new recipes have been developed for menu consideration.

“The fried pork loin project is one of several marketing initiatives for pork aimed at the foodservice sector this autumn,” says Satoshi Kato, USMEF marketing director. “We will begin full-scale promotion of this concept in September at trade shows, customized seminars and one-on-one meetings with restaurants.”

Specialty shops featuring Kara-age is an example and experienced explosive growth in 2020 and 2021 with sales reaching $950 million, up 50% from 2019. Kara-age is a Japanese cooking technique in which various foods — most often chicken — are deep fried in oil.

The development of new recipes and a menu guidebook, seminars, events, menu promotions, point-of-purchase materials and social media support are part of a new marketing initiative to promote fried U.S. pork loin in Japan.

Source: USMEF