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    Consider 'Grill Alternatives' This Easter, Suggests Pork Board

    Move over classic ham: Late Easter means new opportunities for merchandising

    For most retailers, Easter signals a stepped-up selection of sliced ham. But this spring, National Pork Board officials are encouraging meat merchandisers to broaden their fresh pork selection.

    Since Easter occurs much later this year (April 24), retailers have an ideal opportunity to promote grilling. Consider positioning chops, tenderloins, ribs and ham steaks as great "grill alternatives" to a classic spiral ham, suggests the Pork Board.

    Here are more specific ideas:

    -- Set up a display in the meat department with a small grill, a bag of charcoal and a few balloons to remind customers that "spring has sprung! " and it's time to break out the grill.

    -- Create simple signage suggesting fresh pork for the grill. Consumers are always looking for meal ideas, and a perfectly placed sign in the meat department can be just the trigger to get them to choose fresh pork. A straightforward example: "Try pork tenderloin for an easy Easter dinner."

    -- Offer a variety of fresh pork grilling cuts. Consumers like choices, and a nice selection of ham steaks, boneless chops, tenderloins and ribs will give customers lots of opportunities to choose fresh pork. Clearly call out the grill-friendly pork cuts in your meat case to make it easy for customers to locate and select them.

    -- Provide simple recipe cards. Make it easy for customers to assemble and prepare grilled pork. Armed with a simple recipe, it's a cinch for customers to select a fresh pork cut, pick up the ingredients in the store and grill up a tasty pork dinner in no time.

    -- Merchandise with grilling favorites: Set up a merchandising display of grilling season's favorite condiments like barbecue sauce and ketchup, then add a few items that pair especially well with fresh pork: honey mustard, small rolls for tenderloin sandwiches and shredded cabbage for cole slaw.

    For more tips, including recipes, visit www.porkretail.org

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