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2020 Annual Report

Foreign Marketing

The Foreign Marketing program maximizes market access in international markets for U.S. beef by expanding market penetration, gaining new market access, improving global consumer perceptions and building trust in U.S. beef.


As COVID-19 began impacting country after country during the first few months of 2020, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), adapted its programs worldwide to provide immediate support to trade partners. With in-country staff and Beef Checkoff support, USMEF was able to help foodservice partners develop new means of food delivery and takeaway. In some markets, USMEF staff participated in re-engineering menus and developing and using online platforms for ordering and delivery logistics. USMEF also initiated unique promotional campaigns for U.S. beef and produced new delivery materials.



Strong foodservice partnerships allow the Beef Checkoff to encourage beef sales in key export markets and emphasize U.S. beef integrity.


Market development programs paid dividends in China as expanded market access and protein supply constraints contributed to rising interest in U.S. beef and strong export growth. Tight supplies in Australia and African Swine Fever’s impact on domestic pork prices also helped turn buyers’ attention to high-quality U.S. beef.

With Beef Checkoff Program support, U.S. beef was in a position to capitalize on new opportunities in China despite the impact of COVID-19. When social restrictions were implemented, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) shifted the weight of its educational and promotional programs toward e-commerce and social media to directly reach consumers at home. By mid-year, as restrictions were lifted, USMEF reignited promotions for U.S. beef with several partners in retail and foodservice.



Thanks in part to these Checkoff-funded promotional programs, U.S. beef exports to China reached $130 million through September 2020, a 136-percent increase over levels from one year ago.


While South Korea’s retail sector was able to adapt to changes brought on by COVID-19, the foodservice sector struggled under the weight of social distancing guidelines and ongoing consumer concerns about sit-down dining. With support from the Beef Checkoff, USMEF adjusted its programs to work directly with foodservice partners on campaigns that utilized e-commerce, delivery platforms and social media support. One such marketing promotion was called “Delivery Week” and involved a dozen craft burger restaurant chains.

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U.S. beef set a monthly record for exports to Korea in August and continues displacing Australian beef in the market. Social media reached 730,000 consumers during the “Delivery Week” promotion for U.S. beef in South Korea.


As restaurants in Taiwan began closing in April and restrictions related to promotions and in-store demonstrations impacted retail outlets, USMEF developed a new campaign to keep U.S. beef top of mind with consumers. Supported by the Beef Checkoff, “Go Beef” was a summer-long campaign that added a mobile component to support retail promotions and directly reach consumers. In addition to mobile carts for neighborhood food tastings, USMEF utilized a “restaurant-concept” truck to visit urban areas where large numbers of people would see and learn about U.S. beef. When opened, the truck featured a restaurant design with U.S. beef imagery and video panels that showed chefs preparing U.S. beef dishes. The campaign was also intended to show support for the foodservice sector by reminding consumers about the joy of restaurant dining.

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U.S. beef exports to Taiwan set a monthly record in August. Retail demand has remained strong as Taiwan’s imports of chilled U.S. beef increased 15 percent through August, bringing U.S. beef to a 75 percent market share.

Contractors Key


    American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

  • CBB

    Cattlemen's Beef Board


    Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education

  • KSU*

    Kansas State University

  • MICA

    Meat Import Council of America

  • NAMI

    North American Meat Institute

  • NCBA

    National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

  • NEBPI*

    Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative

  • NIAA*

    National Institute for Animal Agriculture

  • NLPA

    National Livestock Producers Association

  • USCA

    United States Cattlemen’s Association

  • USMEF*

    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, 2019 to September 30, 2020 data.