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The Marketing Genius Behind “The Other White Meat” Campaign

We Finally Know Why Pork Was Called the Other White Meat

The average American consumes more than 50 pounds of pork each year. Although it currently trails chicken and beef as the most consumed meat in the U.S., pork reigns supreme as the world’s most consumed protein-and for good reason. There are so many different cuts of pork and things you can make with it, from staples like bacon and ham to barbecue favorites like pork chops and ribs. You can grind it up to make sausage or an extra thick hamburger patty, or fire up a pork butt in the oven or smoker to shred for barbecue pulled pork sandwiches.
While pork is versatile, when you’re competing against heavyweights like the beef and chicken industries, you need a strong marketing presence to stand out and convince people to buy your product instead of the competition’s. The National Pork Board found a compelling winner in its “Pork: The Other White Meat” advertising campaign, which began in 1987 and spanned decades. Now we finally know why that nickname was chosen.

Pork had a reputation as an unhealthy meat.

Despite the wording of the slogan, pork is not actually white meat – the USDA classifies it as red meat – so the core of the slogan didn’t make much sense. However, “The Other White Meat” was intended to promote pork as a healthier food option than it had previously been portrayed. The campaign aimed to present pork as a nutritious alternative to chicken (which is classified as a white meat) that could be used in a variety of delicious meals without negatively impacting consumers’ health. Pork is indeed high in protein, and the tagline promoted the meat as a source of lean protein that was also low in fat.
Although it has stood the test of time as one of the most recognizable advertising campaigns in history, some pork producers have complained about the misleading nature of the slogan, noting that their high-quality pork is more reddish in color. The National Pork Board’s memorable tagline was eventually replaced in 2011 with a new slogan, “Pork: Be Inspired.” “The Other White Meat” was briefly revived in the fall of 2021 to capitalize on its nostalgia factor with the Gen X crowd.
So why was pork called the other white meat? It was about marketing and positioning pork as a healthy and versatile protein option. While not technically classified as a white meat, the campaign successfully changed the perception of pork and elevated its status in the minds of consumers. The slogan “The Other White Meat” became synonymous with pork and helped drive sales and consumption of the meat for many years.
Today, pork remains a popular choice for many households around the world. Its versatility in the kitchen, from grilling to roasting to slow cooking, makes it a favorite ingredient in a variety of cuisines. Whether you’re enjoying a juicy pork chop, crispy bacon, or tender pulled pork, there’s no denying the appeal of this flavorful meat.
While the “Pork: The Other White Meat” campaign may no longer be in use, but it played a significant role in shaping the perception of pork and highlighting its nutritional benefits. Whether you prefer it grilled, roasted or smoked, pork remains a delicious and nutritious protein option for anyone looking to diversify their meals and enjoy the flavors this versatile meat has to offer.


The National Pork Board has launched “Pork: The Other White Meat” campaign to position pork as a healthier food option compared to its previous reputation. Although not classified as a white meat, the campaign aimed to promote pork as a nutritious alternative to chicken and highlight its versatility in various meals.

Was pork really considered a white meat?

No, pork is not considered a white meat. The USDA classifies pork as a red meat. However, the “The Other White Meat” campaign used the tagline to convey the message that pork can be a lean, low-fat protein source, similar to white meat options.

Has the campaign been successful in changing the perception of pork?

Yes, the “The Other White Meat” campaign was instrumental in changing the perception of pork. It helped elevate pork’s status as a healthy and versatile protein option and became synonymous with pork in consumers’ minds, driving sales and consumption for many years.

Why did some pork producers have problems with the slogan?

Some pork producers raised concerns about the misleading nature of the slogan, as their high-quality pork is often reddish rather than white. However, the focus of the campaign was to market and position pork as a healthy choice, and it successfully achieved that goal despite the technical classification.

When was the “The Other White Meat” campaign replaced?

The National Pork Board replaced the “The Other White Meat” campaign with the new “Pork: Be Inspired,” in 2011. However, the original campaign was briefly revived in 2021 to tap into the nostalgia of the Gen X demographic.

Is pork still a popular meat choice today?

Absolutely! Pork continues to be a popular meat choice around the world because of its versatility and delicious flavor. It can be enjoyed in various forms such as pork chops, bacon, ham and pulled pork, making it a favorite ingredient in many cuisines.

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