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Keeping Beef a Desirable Eating Experience, Every Time

Contact: Melissa Jackson, 308-697-3486;

Click here to download the full audio file.

Suggested Lead:  Dr. Ted Schroeder, professor of livestock marketing at Kansas State University, joins us one last time again today to take a look at some of the demand drivers that are keeping beef center of plate at retail and foodservice.

Schroeder 1:  “Certainly consumer incomes are very important. We’ve seen nice, continued growth in consumer per capita income again since the trough of the recessionary period in 2009 or so. We’ve also seen consumers a little more optimistic in the sense that their savings rate on that income has also been more close to average the last couple of quarter, willing now a little more to spend it. This is really strongly seen in the restaurant hotel arena where, since 2009 or so, we have seen tremendous growth in companies who are specialized in gourmet burgers; companies who are specialized in high-quality steaks and it’s a reflection of consumer demand for those high-quality beef products. So as I look forward, the challenge really comes more from what competing meat prices are doing and from factors like food safety, quality issues that we just need to make sure that we’re offering the highest quality possible product.” (1:08 seconds)

And since the checkoff can’t influence price, Dr. Schroeder goes on to explain some areas where the checkoff CAN have an impact.

Schroeder 2:  “The key factors are maintaining consumer trust, growing more consumer trust in food safety components of our product offering, not only that the product is safer, but that it’s perceived as the safest product out there. And secondly that the product quality is just impeccable. We can’t have products that don’t exceed customer expectations. Those kinds of markets absolutely require utmost in product quality so I think investing in product quality characteristics but also helping the consumer recognize and see that it’s really about providing a product that that consumer just finds a very desirable experience every time they purchase it.” (:46 seconds)

Reporting for the beef checkoff, I’m Melissa Slagle. For more about your beef checkoff investment, and for the full Beef Demand Determinant Study, visit the evaluation page on

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.


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