WOOSTER, Ohio — Certified Angus Beef LLC reported record sales of 1.121 billion pounds in fiscal 2017 (ending Sept. 30) — the 11th consecutive annual sales record, continuing a 13-year streak of year-over-year growth.
It is also the second time sales topped 1 billion pounds and marked an increase of 10.4 percent, or 106 million pounds, over last year.
“Our partners, from the farm to the plate, all fit together in the effort to fulfill demand for high-quality beef,” said brand president John Stika. “Sales growth was fueled by the dramatic, positive shift we continue to see in the supply of high-quality cattle.”
Starts at farm
The Certified Angus Beef brand started in 1978 as the brainchild of Angus cattlemen who wanted to give consumers consistent beef quality. Farmers must meet the brand’s 10 product quality standards to sell cattle to the CAB system.
In FY2017, 4.53 million cattle were certified for the brand, a 15.6 percent increase over the previous 12 months. The rate of cattle eligible for the brand rose to a record 29.7 percent, up from just 16 percent a decade ago.
Sales growth from a global network of more than 19,000 licensed partners reflected consumers’ preference. Sales grew in 49 countries outside the United States, reaching a record 174.5 million pounds, a 26.4 percent increase.
Growth came from a mix of new business in China, the Dominican Republic and Peru, as well as gains in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico and Canada.
Retail sales grew nearly 5 percent, reaching a record 456 million pounds.
The Foodservice Division netted sales of 385 million pounds, an 8.5 percent increase. Licensed distributors increased sales by more than 9 percent, and sales to licensed restaurants were up over 12 percent.
Sales of value-added products rose more than 5 percent to 27.0 million pounds. Key items included marinated thin meats, fully cooked burgers and fresh corned beef.
Consumer demand backed an 8.4 percent increase in sales of middle meats (premium steaks). Sales of roasts and other end meats rose by 13.5 percent, and ground beef sales were up 1.7 million pounds.
The brand’s Prime product extension were up more than 35 percent.
This growth resulted in 12 monthly sales records and included seven out of the 10 best sales months in the brand’s 39-year history.