The second phase of the U.S. Meat Export Federation's "Trust" imaging campaign for U.S. beef in South Korea is underway. The campaign is supported by the beef, corn and soybean checkoff programs and the USDA Market Access Program. USMEF Korea director Jihae Yang, says this is a huge step for U.S. beef and a significant sign that consumer confidence in U.S. product is returning.
The campaign contains an element that would have been impossible until recently. The owner of a Korean-style barbecue restaurant chain became the first restaurant owner to publicly endorse U.S. beef. The sign on Yoon-Geun Lee's restaurant reads: "U.S. Beef Restaurant Chamtowoo." A year later, Lee discontinued serving domestic beef and now focuses on U.S. beef, opening five more locations that only serve American product.
Among the many advertisements now flooding the market, advertisements at the busiest subway stations in Seoul emphasize two areas that USMEF focus groups identified as areas of concern for Korean consumers: grazing cattle and wholesome grain-feeding. The ads are designed to counter the "factory farming" image that many Koreans have of U.S. agriculture.