A Japanese magazine focused on U.S. beef and pork, Be&Po, recently revealed a new digital version to serve more than 20,000 readers.
The magazine was first introduced in 2003 with funding from the Beef Checkoff Program, Pork Checkoff and USDA's Market Access Program.
Targeted at homemakers, it offers feature articles on nutrition, product safety, American food cultures and trends, along with messages from American producers.
The Checkoff said the magazine also has helped spread awareness of U.S. beef and pork to a diverse group of readers. Through Be&Po, USMEF has introduced more than 1,600 recipes using American beef and pork products developed by cooking instructors, chefs and nutritionists. Many of these professionals subsequently began using American beef and pork at their cooking schools and restaurants.
The recent move to digital was intended to both modernize the publication and improve production costs.
"We have a very loyal reader base," said Tazuko Hijikata, USMEF-Japan senior manager of consumer affairs. "USMEF receives hundreds of opinion cards that we insert into each issue of Be&Po, even though readers have to buy stamps to return the cards. We've made good use of that feedback to tailor the magazine to better serve our readers."
The new digital format also will allow subscribers to pass the publication along to friends and family via email, significantly expanding distribution and word-of-mouth support.
"Be&Po is an important communication tool with Japanese consumers as well as a resource of tips for activity planning," added Hijikata. "Japanese consumers prefer so-called 'story products.' They want to know the background, history and producers of the products, and that's why Be&Po has received such warm responses and strong support."
The latest issue of Be&Po can be found here.