DaBurger Efforts Promote Ground Pork 

Have you ever had a pork burger at the IL State Fair or at a county fair? Pork burgers are popular items at these venues. In some areas of the state such as Jasper County (where they would argue that the pork burger originated from) you can find pork burgers served at many festivals and community events.

For many years, the IL Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has been serving up nearly 10,000 pork burgers during the ten days of the IL State Fair. We have also handed out numerous pork burger samples to people around the state and many times the reaction is very similar – “Wow this is great, where can I get this at?” To which we would have to reply “Check with your local processor or grocery store.” Pork burgers have been hard to consistently find at the retail level, but IPPA is making progress on that front.

In 2011 IPPA, in conjunction with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPA) and National Pork Board (NPB), leveraged a sponsorship opportunity with the Chicago Bears to pilot a ground pork burger at Soldier Field. The pork burger was named – DaBurger™ and is made up of a half-pound pork burger with a variety of toppings (all including bacon of course!!). DaBurger made its professional sports debut on the menu of Soldier Field on September 1, 2011.

Bears, Blackhawks, CubsFrom there it was added to the menu at the United Center at four locations during all Chicago Bulls home basketball games, Chicago Blackhawks home hockey games (back when they actually played hockey!!) and at other events and concerts. DaBurger was visible to 2.5 million consumers, and more than 3,600 DaBurgers were sold in six months. DaBurger also joined the lineup at U.S. Cellular Field during White Sox home baseball games in front of 2 million consumers. Partnerships with WGN, WBBM and The Score (WSCR) radio stations raised awareness with many consumers listening to sports coverage on the radio.

During the 2012 Bears season fans can find three DaBurger™ varieties available at 4 locations:

  • The Pork BLT – pork burger with bacon, lettuce, tomato and dijonnaise
  • The Bacon Cheddar Delight – pork burger with bacon, cheddar, grilled onions and BBQ sauce
  • Pork 3-Ways – pork burger with pulled pork and bacon topped with cheddar and BBQ sauce (Our personal fav – pork on top of pork on top of pork!!)

As part of the 2012 Bears DaBurger sponsorship, a major four week retail promotion was held in October 2012 with Jewel stores in Chicago. DaBurgers and ground pork were featured in 167 Chicagoland Jewel stores with a 29% increase in pork sales during the promotion!

The DaBurger promotion efforts allow IPPA an opportunity to:

1. Get consumers to try pork in a new way – pork burger. The majority of people in Chicago has never heard of a pork burger, let alone ate one!

2. Promote the use of ground pork with consumers. The idea is to get people to try a DaBurger and then look for ground pork in the grocery store to fix for their family.

3. Have conversations with Chicago consumers about food and issues related pork production. This is a great tie-in with the Illinois Farm Families efforts to engage consumers.

IPPA has developed a new website specifically for promoting DaBurger and ground pork to consumers. The site contains high resolution pictures of the 4 DaBurger varieties with recipes that can be downloaded. Sports fans can also see where to find DaBurgers at Chicago sports venues. Consumers can also submit their own ground pork recipes.

Check out the NEW DaBurger website –!!

Tim_MaiersTim Maiers
Illinois Pork Producers Association Director of Communications

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