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Minnesota beef producers promote product in Taiwan, Japan

The trip’s goal was to evaluate the incorporation of U.S. beef in two Asian markets.

June 20, 2019

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6 people enjoying beef at table

ROOFTOP VIEW: Ashley Kohls (front right), executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, and Mark Pankonin, MSCA vice president (back left), enjoy U.S. beef with members of the Tokyo Men's Grilling Club on a rooftop "grilling park." Several Minnesota cattlemen traveled to Japan and Taiwan in early May to promote U.S. beef. During this event, cattlemen from the U.S. shared grilling tips and tricks with club members.Courtesy of Ashley Kohls

Representatives from the Minnesota Beef Council and Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association traveled to Taiwan and Japan in an effort to further promote the attributes of U.S. beef in these established and emerging markets.

Ashley Kohls, Mark Pankonin, Jeri Hanson and Duane Munsterteiger all took part in this mission, along with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, in early May.

The goal of this trip was to evaluate the incorporation of U.S. beef in two Asian markets. Their trip began in Taiwan, where they toured 15 different stores, markets and restaurants. Taiwanese people have very specific beef tastes. According to 2018 import data, approximately 48% of consumers prefer grass-finished and 52% prefer grain-finished beef. The beef market in Taiwan is aggressive and progressive. They are consistently competing with Japan and China for purchasing, which has allowed them to use underutilized cuts and find ways to incorporate them into traditional Taiwan cuisine.

“I enjoyed opening my eyes to the way their culture utilizes the various cuts and organs that our consumer would find unappealing for consumption,” says Pankonin, MSCA vice president.

From there, they traveled to Japan. During this portion of the trip, their time was predominantly focused on demonstrations and consumer events. The consumer events included cooking demonstrations utilizing U.S. beef, and each of the instructors had a loyal following both in-person and on social media.

“One thing that surprised me was how both cultures that we visited really appreciated us as beef producers,” says Munsterteiger, MBC treasurer. “It was impactful to see how passionate all of the U.S. Meat Export Federation employees are overseas about promoting U.S. beef.”

Their visits to two different Asian markets gave them perspective into what the Minnesota beef industry can continue to do in the future to expand the reach of U.S. beef into these markets. In Taiwan, they spent most of their time with importers and businesses. Whereas in Japan, they spent their time with influencers and consumers in addition to importers and businesses.

“It is tough to single out one thing as my favorite part of the trip — it was an overall amazing experience,” says Hanson, MBC secretary. “From the camaraderie amongst all participants, to the reception we received wherever we went. We would like to thank all that were involved in allowing us this opportunity.”

Source: Minnesota Beef, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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