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Brand USA stirs up international appetite for American cuisine through new platforms and partnerships with the James Beard Foundation, Travel Channel and the Food Network

June 3, 2015 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the nation, is enticing international travelers to visit the United States through a culinary tourism strategy that includes the newly launched online content hub, guidebook, broadcast sponsorships, and partnerships with the U.S. Department of State and the James Beard Foundation.

Based on Brand USA’s proprietary research across 12 key international markets, culinary has risen to one of the top five motivations that travelers use to select an international destination. In fact, culinary is a top motivator in seven of the 12 markets Brand USAconducted proprietary research in 2014, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and Mexico. (Source: BrandUSA 2014 proprietary market profiles research).

In order to build off the rise of culinary tourism, in July Brand USA in partnership with the Food Network (International) and Travel Channel will broadcast a series of vignettes featuring notable American chefs showcasing regional cuisines from their hometowns and favorite U.S. destinations. The episodes, which show how each cuisine mirrors its region, will air in 98 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa during July 2015. Additionally, the Travel Channel will broadcast a series of U.S. road-trip food adventures with British broadcast personalities and food experts Jeni Barnett and Olly Smith.  The program is an expansion of Brand USA’s broadcast in 2014 of Jeni and Ollie’s “West Coast Wine Adventures” series.

Other components of Brand USA’s culinary strategy include the May 2015 launch of Brand USA’s first-ever culinary content hub, “Flavours of the USA,” which is available from Brand USA’s global consumer website, and includes gastronomic features from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The site also offers culinary-inspired American travel itineraries, listings of food festivals and events, descriptions of wine and beer trails, and regional recipes by top chefs. The James Beard Foundation, through its partnership with Brand USA, has supplied much of the online content.

Brand USA also worked with the U.S. Department of State on its Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, which is a collaboration with the James Beard Foundation that champions American chefs abroad, promotes American food products, and fosters an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives, to produce the “Flavours of the USA” culinary guidebook. The guide, published in multiple languages, features recipes and content by a variety of prominent U.S. chefs – all affiliated with the James Beard Foundation – that showcase U.S. regional cuisines.

Brand USA will distribute 115,000 of the guides at upcoming Independence Day celebrations at U.S. embassies and consulates inChina, India, Japan, France, and Germany, and during the year at Brand USA pavilions and in key markets around the globe.

Brand USA will also distribute the “Flavours of the USA” guidebook and promote culinary tourism in the USA during the United States’participation in Expo Milano 2015, the Universal Exhibition (often referred to as the “World’s Fair”) in Milan, Italy from May 1 to Oct. 31, 2015. About 20 million visitors are expected to attend Expo Milano 2015 where they will have opportunities to sample the food of 140 countries.

The theme of the USA Pavilion at Milan is “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet.” The pavilion brings to life the ways in which the USA employs innovative processes to bring food from farm to table. As a partner of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano, BrandUSA and its partners will be a prominent part of one of the USA’s many exhibits, Food Truck Nation, which leverages the creative culinary revival of food trucks in small and large town across the United States.  The edible exhibit includes six custom-built food trucks serving up regional American street foods—both traditional and creative interpretations with a focus on wholesomeness, sustainability and health. The USA Pavilion is a signature project of the Office of Public Diplomacy of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, with input and support from the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce and other key government agencies.

In addition, through Brand USA’s content partnership with the James Beard Foundation, Brand USA participated in the James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony held on May 4 in Chicago. Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA’s president and CEO, helped present the “2015 America’s Classics Awards” to American restaurants treasured for their delicious food, authentic character and timeless appeal. The five restaurants honorees included: Archie’s Waeside, Le Mars, IA; Beaumont Inn,

Harrodsburg, KY; Guelaguetza, Los Angeles, CA; Sally Bell’s Kitchen, Richmond, VA; and Sevilla Restaurant, New York, NY.

“Culinary tourism is a way for international visitors to experience the diversity of America through our cuisine,” Thompson said. “By promoting exceptional gastronomic offerings, such as those created by the ‘America’s Classics Awards’ recipients, we hope to inspire travelers from around the world to visit and experience the USA, one dish at a time.”

The five winning restaurants, said Susan Ungaro, president of the Beard Foundation, have been able “to bring neighborhoods together as they celebrate the authentic and unique flavors of America’s food scene.”

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