Do Opportunities Exist In The Freezer Case For Beef?
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Suggested Lead: Steve Giroux, (pron. juh-roo´) vice president of sales and marketing for American Foods Group brands division, says the beef checkoff is working together with their company to help grow consumer awareness about frozen beef offerings and in turn, increase beef sales. Right now, square footage in the freezer case is about 68 percent chicken and 32 percent beef, which means there is a lot of upside potential for beef.
Giroux 1: “There’s a new frontier for beef – it’s in the freezer case – to expand beef sales. We’ve come up with some innovative products that we feel will fit those needs and actually expand sales. It’s not taking away from the fresh case, it’s actually expanding beef sales into the freezer case. So we feel that right now, there are some stew meat opportunities off the chuck roll, and the cube steaks off the round, and we’re also working with the new Denver steak that comes off the chuck eye roll as well so that we can build that business there.” (27 seconds)
Each year, the beef checkoff partners with retailers and foodservice restaurants to expand promotional and marketing opportunities for beef. Giroux takes us through the process he believes is necessary to reach consumers.
Giroux 2: “It’s going to be an education process and that’s where we really need to do some PR to get them out there, to understand it. But the biggest thing is to also do demos because once we get it in their mouth, it’s a great eating experience and that’s where we need to expand that. And we also need to, in not only retail but foodservice, get it on some menus, and let people try it and get the promotion going that way, too.” (20 seconds)
So what’s the ultimate possibility for increasing beef sales through the freezer case? Giroux can’t put a specific number to the prediction, but says the outlook looks favorable.
Giroux 3: “Industry-wide, I think it could be … when you look at what chicken does, hundreds of millions of pounds out of the freezer … what we can do is if we can get just a piece of that and grow that business in a nice, manageable number every year, there could be very large numbers down the road for the beef industry.” (17 seconds)
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 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.