GS25 convenience stores in South Korea are selling the "John's Burger, a new convenience food item targeted at 20-to-30 year-old office workers in search of a quick and affordable lunch. This burger is priced about the same as a U.S. burger, 86 cents to $1.38, at current exchange rates. But that is where the similarity stops. The "John's Burger" is made out of 100% U.S. pork.
The "John's Burger" was born following a visit to U.S. pork plants, in August 2009 by a "Pork Business Development Team" led by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Hee-hun Han, Retail Daily Food Merchandising Team assistant manager for GS retail stores, says since they engaged in this initiative and took an in-depth tour of U.S. pork plants, it gave them crystal-clear confidence in why theye should procure pork patties from the United States.
During a recent four-day promotion the GS25 chain sold an average of 3,522 of the new sandwiches per day at a limited number of stores, even though two of the days fell on the weekend when there were fewer office workers. J.R. Lee, marketing manager for USMEF-Korea, says they are encouraged by the reception to a premium-priced U.S. pork sandwich among customers who are typically very cost-sensitive. Lee believes that over time, other convenience store chains will see the success of this product and it will lead to more opportunities for U.S. pork sales.