In endangered and local pig breeds of small population sizes, production has to focus on alternative niche markets with an emphasis on specific product and meat quality traits to achieve economic competiveness. For designing breeding strategies on meat quality, an adequate performance testing scheme focussing on phenotyped selection candidates is required. For the endangered German pig breed ‘Bunte Bentheimer’ (BB), no breeding program has been designed until now, and no performance testing scheme has been implemented. For local breeds, mainly reared in small-scale production systems, a performance test based on in vivo indicator traits might be a promising alternative in order to increase genetic gain for meat quality traits. Hence, the main objective of this study was to design and evaluate breeding strategies for the improvement of meat quality within the BB breed using in vivo indicator traits and genetic markers. The in vivo indicator trait was backfat thickness measured by ultrasound (BFiv), and genetic markers were allele variants at the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) locus. In total, 1116 records of production and meat quality traits were collected, including 613 in vivo ultrasound measurements and 713 carcass and meat quality records. Additionally, 700 pigs were genotyped at the RYR1 locus. Data were used (1) to estimate genetic (co)variance components for production and meat quality traits, (2) to estimate allele substitution effects at the RYR1 locus using a selective genotyping approach and (3) to evaluate breeding strategies on meat quality by combining results from quantitative-genetic and molecular-genetic approaches. Heritability for the production trait BFiv was 0.27, and 0.48 for backfat thickness measured on carcass. Estimated heritabilities for meat quality traits ranged from 0.14 for meat brightness to 0.78 for the intramuscular fat content (IMF). Genetic correlations between BFiv and IMF were higher than estimates based on carcass backfat measurements (0.39 v. 0.25). The presence of the unfavorable n allele was associated with increased electric conductivity, paler meat and higher drip loss. The allele substitution effect on IMF was unfavorable, indicating lower IMF when the n allele is present. A breeding strategy including the phenotype (BFiv) combined with genetic marker information at the RYR1 locus from the selection candidate, resulted in a 20% increase in accuracy and selection response when compared with a breeding strategy without genetic marker information.