Beefshi was front and center in New York City’s Times Square this past March as the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, introduced the Big Apple to the new items created for the 2019 campaign. Beefshi is a creative, new fusion-food concept that uses prepared beef products like bologna, summer sausage, corned beef and pastrami as central ingredients in sushi.
The theme of the Times Square promotion was “Your Sushi is getting Beefed Up!” Giant, colorful images of Beefshi and a link to Beefshi.com towered above Times Square for all to see.
“Americans have always loved beef, and over the past few decades, their love of sushi has catapulted,” said Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs at NAMI. “In fact, sushi is one of the fastest-growing categories in supermarket deli departments. Therefore, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate National Deli Meat Month than focusing on the marriage of beef and sushi.”
Last year, during the retail-focused Annual Meat Conference, hundreds of retailers sampled three Beefshi recipes, and 55 completed a short survey that captured their reactions. Overall, 95 percent of those who tried the Beefshi creations liked them – while half of the retailers said they would make sense at the supermarket.
Working with multiple state beef councils and a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America, NAMI has developed eight new Beefshi recipes – adding to eight recipes created in 2018. These recipes are intended to introduce the concept and inspire consumers, retailers and foodservice operators to develop their own Beefshi creations.
By finding new and creative ways to market beef, the checkoff is helping drive demand every day. Learn more about Beefshi – including recipes, how-to videos and nutrition facts – at Beefshi.com.
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.