CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The checkoff has been building and implementing a comprehensive marketing effort to help build demand for beef among retailers, foodservice operators, reporters and consumers despite current economic conditions.
This plan not only addresses the current economy, but also the resurgence of in-home cooking and somewhat weaker overall sales of cuts from the rib, loin and sirloin subprimals, such as ribeye, tenderloin and top sirloin steaks.
Still, beef retail sales overall are up nearly 4 percent compared to this time last year, according to beef checkoff-funded Fresh Look retail pricing data.
Middle meat promotion
This has created the opportunity for checkoff dollars to be directed toward further middle meat promotional efforts in advertising, food communications, foodservice and retail programs.
“The consumer public relations program efforts have been dedicated to helping consumers find new ways to shop for beef, learn preparation techniques, explore the versatility beef offers and showcase how beef brings family and friends together for a great eating experience,” said Ann Bruntz, chair of the industry’s Joint Public Relations Subcommittee and beef producer from Friend, Neb.
“We’re also maximizing beef’s visibility online by expanding the presence of beef recipes and cookery information through beefitswhatsfordinner.com, social networking sites and food blogs.”
The checkoff coordinated a blog campaign to showcase how beef takes center plate in healthy family meals through a grocery shopping challenge.
Five of the top “mommy bloggers” across the country were selected to prepare lean beef recipes from beefitswhatsfordinner.com and The Healthy Beef Cookbook then share posts about their experiences using the variety of resources on the site — from shopping tools, preparation tips and recipe results.
This engagement is part of ongoing effort to establish the checkoff-funded Web site as the go-to resource for healthy family mealtime needs.
Unique visitors increased
Unique visitors to beef’s primary recipe site increased by 73 percent during the course of the blog campaign compared to same five week period in 2008.
Many of recipes used in this challenge featured lean middle meat cuts.
Steak prices have dropped, just in time for prime grilling season, and the checkoff capitalized on that opportunity by sharing this news with food writers at the top 250 daily newspapers and targeted food bloggers.