Convenience Stores in Japan
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Convenience stores are big business in Japan but are looking to upgrade their image, which presented a perfect opportunity for U.S. beef. The checkoff helped fund creation of a 10-item U.S. beef menu for the 9,500-outlet Family Mart – the third-largest convenience chain in the country. The menu includes a bento (lunch) box, rice bowl, salad, sandwich, soba noodle, sushi and soup, and is being actively promoted via in-store point-of-sale materials and to Family Mart’s 200,000 website fans and 90,000 Twitter followers.
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.