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Pork Sales Shatter Records at Hy-Vee

October 23, 2009 | News & Press Releases

WEST DES MOINES, IA – Low retail prices combined with aggressive promotion have boosted pork sales at Hy-Vee to record levels for 2009, company officials announced today.

October is National Pork Month, and with a little more than a week left in the month, pork tonnage – the number of pounds of pork sold – is up more than 25 percent over October 2008, said Kenan Judge, assistant vice president of meat operations for Hy-Vee. For the year, Hy-Vee is on track to increase pork tonnage by more than 30 percent, Judge said.

“With pork prices the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade, we’ve focused our marketing efforts on promoting pork as a great value for consumers,” Judge said. “Today’s shopper is looking for nutritious, economical meal ideas, and pork perfectly fits the bill.”

Judge noted that lower pork prices are the result of a depressed market caused by declining exports and higher-than-expected production. “The pork industry is really struggling right now,” he said. “When we advertise pork specials and pass along the savings to customers, we’re helping increase demand for pork, which benefits the pork producer.”

Hy-Vee has worked closely with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the National Pork Producers Council, Farm Bureau, Hormel and other supplier partners to identify the best values available on pork products and promote those values to customers. The pork industry groups have helped by providing point-of-sale marketing materials for stores and assisting with special events designed to create excitement and raise awareness of the plight of pork producers in the current economy.

One such event was the Great Iowa Pork Crusade, sponsored by Hy-Vee and WHO radio in Des Moines. Award-winning radio personalities Van and Bonnie of WHO helped Hy-Vee distribute $20,000 worth of certificates for free pork during a week-long campaign. The pork industry also teamed with Hy-Vee for “Chops for Charity,” a fundraiser that sold more than 3,000 barbecued pork loin sandwiches to benefit Variety – The Children’s Charity.

Hy-Vee’s weekly ads have featured special buys such as pork steaks for 99 cents a pound and buy-one-get-one-free deals on pork chops. The current ad celebrating National Pork Month includes an entire page of pork items on sale – pork shoulder roasts, butterfly chops, boneless pork loins, ribs, ground pork patties, premium cut bacon, and more. “Some of these retail prices are the lowest I can ever remember offering,” Judge said. “They represent significant savings to the consumer, and our customers are responding by buying record amounts of pork.”

Judge said Hy-Vee plans to continue promoting pork beyond Pork Month. “As long as we can provide great values for customers and help our nation’s pork producers, we’re going to take advantage of the opportunity,” he said.

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 227 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. For 2008 the company recorded total sales of $6.2 billion, ranking it among the top 30 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, honored the company with the 2008 Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. Visit the company’s website at