The Consumer Information program area develops nutritional data and other information that will assist consumers and others in forming opinions and making decisions regarding the purchase, preparation and consumption of beef and beef products. This includes programs such as consumer education and information, communications with health professionals, food and nutrition communicators, retailers and foodservice professionals.
Beef Gets Stunning Reviews at Raising The Steaks at The Y.A.R.D.S.
The Beef Checkoff brought together a diverse group of 16 chefs, bloggers and nutrition influencers for an up-close look at beef production in Lexington, KY, where they participated in various activities including a butchery lesson and stockyard and farm tours. The visit’s overall focus centered around beef sustainability and the beef industry’s efforts to decrease beef’s environmental impact throughout the supply chain. Prior to the tour, some attendees had reservations about beef production methods, but after hearing from Dr. Sara Place, senior director of sustainable beef production research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and learning firsthand the great lengths at which cattle are cared for, all influencers had an extremely positive outlook toward beef and shared the positive messages to their circles of influence.
Courtney Ferreira, Registered Dietitian commented, “Talking about sustainability was the biggest takeaway for me because I do get so many questions about that from my clients. Honing in on the difference of grass-finished versus grain-finished was really useful, and it was helpful to see all of our cows are eating grass, all of our farmers care about their cows, and all the of meat we eat
is raised in a sustainable way. All the fears people hold about meat aren’t based on facts, and it’s important to bring those facts to my clients.”
Building relationships with food influencers is key in today’s society. Consumers are more curious about their food than ever before, and they listen to peers when making food purchasing decisions. The Beef Checkoff engages with chefs, dietitians and food bloggers to help bridge the knowledge gap of how beef is raised while highlighting its nutritional benefits.
Beef Checkoff Celebrates Butchery Skills with Best Beef Butcher Contest
On May 9, the 2019 Best BEEF Butcher Contest took place at the Penn State Meats Lab in State College, PA during the 80th Pennsylvania Association of Meat Processors (PAMP) Conference. The contest, sponsored by the Beef Checkoff, showcased eight butcher contest finalists from across the Northeast. This inaugural event was designed to celebrate the skills, knowledge and value independent butchers and meat processors bring to the overall beef supply chain through their passion and dedication to the craft of butchery and meat cutting. The contest tasked each contestant with breaking down a beef subprimal into marketable cuts of beef which would appeal to today’s consumer.
Joseph Malafy of Malafy’s Meat Processing in Red Hook, NY, was announced the winner of the contest. “I just enjoy cutting meat, and I have fun doing it,” said Malafy. “I enjoy making everything look presentable for the customer, and I’ve been cutting meat for 35 years, ever since I was 18 years old.”
Finding unique ways to celebrate beef with people in the food industry who directly work with consumers is one way the Beef Checkoff builds relationships and helps drive beef demand. People are more favorable towards a product that they can connect with on an emotional level. Outreach projects like this elevate beef in the minds of foodservice professionals, and in turn they advocate the product to consumers.
Beef Curriculum Created for the Classroom
Recognizing the growing disconnect between today’s youth and agricultural practices, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA), with the support of the Beef Checkoff, has successfully developed two units of science-based curriculum focusing on beef production. The curriculum was developed by working closely with beef science and education professionals to earn badging for the units, which will give instant validation within the science education community. The developed units will start piloting in a limited number of classrooms within 10 school districts and be submitted for Next Generation Science Standard scoring, and hopefully badging, early in FY2020.
The next generation is getting further removed from production agriculture, and today’s youth stands to benefit from being immersed in the real ways beef producers utilize science-based methodology in their daily operations. This high school and middle school curriculum has the potential to truly impact the way young people view agriculture and beef products in the future.
Satellite Media Tour
The Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. media relations team, funded by the Beef Checkoff, worked with four brands, including NCBA, Canon, Travelocity and Macy’s, in addition to lifestyle expert Colleen Burns, to collaborate on a “Last-Minute Holiday Tips” satellite media tour on December 13, 2018.
The news segments, which featured tips for how to cook the perfect holiday roast, aired on more than 1,700 TV and radio stations across the country, reaching more than 23 million people. By collaborating with high-profile brands to celebrate beef, the Beef Checkoff is building exposure for beef through Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. and bringing it to consumers in a meaningful way to drive beef demand.
Stem Educators Get ‘On The Farm’ Experience
The Beef Checkoff facilitated two immersive “On the Farm” experiences for key influencers and educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education from highly populated areas of the U.S. After the experience, one participant said, “I have a deeper appreciation for those who produce beef. Seeing the complete cycle of beef to plate has allowed me to pass on the positive work that beef farmers and harvesters contribute to America.”
Post-event surveys showed a 54-percent increase in response that the “positives strongly outweigh the negatives of how cattle are raised.” There was a 30-percent increase in those who plan to eat more beef than they are currently. Presenting opportunities for individuals to get real-life exposure to beef production is essential for sharing beef’s story and increasing consumer confidence.
Meat Substitutes: Getting to the Meat of the Matter
In August, more than 700 supply chain operators from the retail, foodservice, manufacturing, distributing and packing industries registered for the webinar, “Getting to the Meat of the Matter: Do Meat Substitutes Stack Up to Beef?” The webinar, through NCBA, featured insights from the consumer research and channel intelligence teams and facts about beef’s nutrition and environmental sustainability. Promoted via an aggressive digital media campaign on popular trade publication websites, the webinar attracted decision makers from leading consumer-facing brands and reinforced the fact that meat substitutes may be driving headlines, but beef drives sales. Additionally, a new infographic highlighting beef’s sales, sustenance and sustainability is now available to share with grocery retailers and other supply chain partners. The infographic is available at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Knowing meat substitutes are a hot topic in today’s foodservice industry, the Beef Checkoff understands the importance of engaging with these decision makers early in the process and highlighting beef’s nutritional and economical benefits. It is imperative to maintain a dialog with the foodservice sector so that these individuals understand beef’s benefits to their businesses.
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
Cattlemen's Beef Board
Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education
Kansas State University
Meat Import Council of America
North American Meat Institute
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative
National Livestock Producers Association
National Institute for Animal Agriculture
United States Cattlemen’s Association
United States Meat Export Federation
Figures presented within this report are based on data compiled by individual contractors. Unless indicated otherwise, results are based on October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 data.