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Frequently Asked Questions

Recently, Burger King, the second-largest burger chain in the U.S., announced it would begin serving another version of the iconic Whopper using an all-vegetarian patty. Burger King’s adoption of this plant-based, alternative patty is a big move in the primarily beef-focused foodservice arena, providing consumers greater access to alternative proteins. What does this mean for the beef industry?

Well, Americans love beef, especially burgers. It’s a fact. Americans consume roughly 50 billion burgers a year, with the average American eating three hamburgers a week1. There is even a national day dedicated to the love of the hamburger. National Burger Day, a day of appreciation for hamburgers, fell on May 28th this year. In 2018, ground beef accounted for 40 percent of dollar sales and half of last year’s pound sales2. All of these facts confirm that beef is what consumers continue to love, buy and eat.

Still, more and more restaurants and stores are offering plant-based alternative proteins to give their consumers greater variety on their menus and their shelves. Many restaurants and food service businesses that have latched onto this trend. While the trend is still growing, it is important to note that meat alternatives only represent a fraction of pounds sold, registering at 0.1 percent share in 20183.

The main selling points for companies producing plant-based, alternative proteins revolve around the environment, nutrition and animal welfare. They contend plant-based proteins require fewer natural resources, including water and land, and emit fewer greenhouse gases when compared to the beef production system. Another view is based upon the common misconception that red meat is bad for the human diet. Lastly, these companies use emotional tactics to tell consumers that, by opting to eat plant-based proteins, they can keep animals from being slaughtered and consumed.

These selling points may attract a certain type of consumer. However, the Beef Checkoff has taken significant measures to bring beef to the consumer forefront and position it as one of the world’s most desirable proteins.

When it comes to sustainable production processes, the beef industry has moved forward in leaps and bounds. Producers are constantly looking for new ways to produce more beef with fewer resources. In fact, today, U.S. beef farmers and ranchers are able to produce the same amount of beef with one-third fewer cattle than they did in 19774. The checkoff-funded lifecycle assessment gives consumers and the industry a clear picture as to what beef sustainability looks like today.

When it comes to health, the Beef Checkoff works with dietitians and physicians regularly to educate them on the health benefits of including beef in an everyday diet. The checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand serves as the consumer-facing resource dedicated to educating individuals through webinars, seminars, fact sheets, cooking lessons, nutrition research and more on the ways lean beef contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Research shows that consumers consider beef one of the best sources of protein5.

Ironically, meat eaters are the target audience for many of the companies promoting plant-based, alternative proteins. Their campaigns have centered around their products’ amazing similarity, texture and taste compared to beef. On April Fools’ Day, Burger King “fooled” some beef-loving restaurant goers into thinking they were eating the Whopper’s original beef patty when they were actually eating the newly introduced plant-based patty instead. The reaction was overwhelming, with many saying they couldn’t believe how alike the two options tasted.

“Beef has one ingredient—beef. While plant-based alternatives, consisting of dozens of ingredients, have demonstrated similarities to beef, it’s important that consumers understand exactly what they’re eating and where it came from,” states Janna Stubbs, Cattlemen’s Beef Board member from Alpine, Texas. “The beef industry has worked hard to be transparent and give consumers the high-quality beef they seek and trust to feed their families.”

The Beef Checkoff has dedicated valuable resources toward consumer and market research to determine how consumers think about beef and alternative proteins, as well as where they are spending their protein dollars. In 2019, annual projected beef consumption is more than 58 pounds per capita versus beef substitutes measuring in at a few ounces per capita6. Furthermore, the U.S. Retail Beef Demand Index has increased by almost 15 percent since 2012. This increase in demand is being driven by consumer beef expenditures, which reached an all-time high in 2018 of more than $105 billion7.

Consumer marketing is also a big priority. For consumers to continue buying beef, the Beef Checkoff must invest in initiatives that increase beef’s visibility and appeal. The Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand has created a series of social media ads that clearly position beef as one of the top proteins and address meat alternatives head on.

The Beef Checkoff also targets consumers who are actively searching for information on topics like beef sustainability—effectively disputing the claims made by companies producing plant-based alternatives—and driving them toward the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. website for accurate information.

The Beef Checkoff works to leverage resources in the most impactful areas so producers can be confident that consumers are purchasing their superior products. Listening to consumers and adapting to their purchasing decisions are key to the beef industry’s success. Much is still on the horizon when it comes to alternative proteins, but the Beef Checkoff will continue to identify ways to position beef as the number one protein choice amongst consumers and drive demand for beef.

Frequently Asked Questions

At the beginning of 2019, CattleFax CEO Randy Blach noted that calves would have been worth $50 per cwt less and fed cattle $20 less if the industry had failed to meet consumer beef demand. Over the last 20 years, beef producers have answered the call for higher-quality beef, directly impacting demand, and therefore, beef prices and consumption.1

Consumer demand is perhaps the most important driver of the beef industry. Growing demand and responding to consumer trends are key to maintaining beef as a superior protein choice. The sole purpose of the Beef Checkoff is to do just that—help build beef demand. To do this, the Beef Checkoff continually funds research and tracks consumer trends to ensure producers have the full picture of how beef is performing at retail and foodservice establishments worldwide.

Defining “demand” and how it affects beef values

While the factors that go into demand are very complex, the concept of demand is simple: beef demand relies on sentiment, or the trust and loyalty one has for a product. Driving demand is the effort that goes into getting a consumer to think of beef first—positioning beef in the forefront of their minds when they enter the grocery store. The Beef Checkoff is building consumer confidence in order to drive demand.

The beef industry has many layers and sectors that work together. It includes various dynamics and complex markets that contribute to overall demand. According to Dr. Derrell Peel of Oklahoma State University, “The complexity increases when one realizes that beef demand is not a single market, but it is the net effect of the disassembly of beef carcasses into many products entering different, but often related markets.” 2 For beef producers, cattle prices are of the utmost importance and are a result of the total value that consumers place on beef products. In other words, consumer demand determines beef carcass values, as well as prices for fed cattle, feeder cattle and calves.

Demand vs. consumption

Dr. Peel notes that the beef industry, “is one of, if not the most complex set of markets on the planet.”3 When consumers believe in beef, it pushes the market. There are many influences behind beef demand, the most significant of which are population, income, taste and preferences, expectations and the prices of other goods. Demand can sometimes be confused with consumption. If demand is the sentiment toward beef, then consumption is the sales data – how much they are actually purchasing and eating. Consumption doesn’t take into account what leads to the purchasing decision or the price-vs-value relationship. Consumers must view beef as a favorable product in order for it to be competitive in the marketplace. 4

In 2018, cattle producers saw a large increase in consumer beef demand, particularly in the retail sector. According to the U.S. Retail Beef Demand Index, 2018 retail beef demand was 15 percent higher than in January 2012.5 Furthermore, the Beef Demand Index shows consumers are loving high-quality, USDA-Choice-graded beef products. In fact, approximately 80 percent of U.S. beef grades USDA Choice or higher today, compared to 50 percent in 2000.6

How the Beef Checkoff builds demand

Producing high-quality beef has led to greater consumer confidence, which is essential to continue building that demand. The Beef Checkoff echoes producers’ dedication to quality by promoting this at every turn and researching how consumers are responding to beef products in the marketplace. The Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand showcases beef’s superior taste, nutrition and quality benefits in ads placed around the country. A $5 million consumer advertising budget allows the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand to reach more consumers than ever before, particularly online.

Online marketing is critical today because consumers are spending the majority of their time using digital resources. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, directs consumers to the BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website whenever an individual searches for information about beef. This ensures consumers are obtaining the most accurate information about beef in their diets. Since October 2017, the website has had more than 15 million visits.

While beef prices are a top concern, the Beef Checkoff works to ensure consumers continue to feel confident purchasing beef. Over the past two decades, the beef industry has seen a direct correlation between industry success and consumer trends. The Beef Checkoff remains dedicated to growing overall beef demand through all avenues by promoting and educating consumers on the benefits of eating beef.

Frequently Asked Questions

This May, 2019, urban educators from around the nation traveled to Kansas and New York where they learned the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) through the “On The Farm” experience.

Pioneered by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA), contractor to the Beef Checkoff, the On The Farm STEM experience offers a first-hand look at beef production. It brings educators together with ranchers, researchers and veterinarians to see how they apply STEM concepts in the beef industry every day. The program’s goal is to increase participants’ agricultural knowledge and encourage them to better connect STEM with agriculture in their classrooms and curriculums. Over the past three years, AFBFA has engaged more than 200 education leaders, including those from the top 10 urban school districts in the nation.

“Prior to this On The Farm experience, I would have never thought to use hands-on STEM connected to agriculture, but now, I see immediate applications to tie what I’ve learned into science classrooms.” – Jennifer Mayo, Portland Public Schools.

As generations of consumers become further and further removed from agriculture, the need and demand for these experiences continues to grow. This is especially true in urban school districts, such as Los Angeles Unified School District (CA), Broward County School District (FL), Portland Public Schools (OR) and New York City Department of Education.

By investing checkoff dollars toward programs like the On The Farm STEM experience, beef producers are able to educate participants about the food system – resulting in a stronger pasture-to-plate connection.

These national events are moving the needle by enhancing beef perception and intent to consume while also increasing exposure to state programming. Pre- and post-event assessments administered to On The Farm participants indicated major changes in their perceptions of beef after attending the event.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to “Environmental Footprints of Beef Cattle Production”1 a study recently published in the journal Agricultural Systems, widely accepted claims about beef cattle’s environmental impact in the U.S. are often overestimated.

The lifecycle assessment, conducted by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the Beef Checkoff, was designed to scientifically quantify the sustainability of U.S. beef production. Researchers collected and examined feed- and cattle-production-related data from more than 2,200 cattle producers in seven regional production areas. They derived their conclusions by using a simulation model and regional production data to estimate national impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy use, blue water consumption and reactive nitrogen loss.

While these conclusions are compelling, a recent EAT-Lancet 50-page suggests that the only way to save the planet is to eat less meat, eat more nuts and beans, or adopt a “flexitarian” diet (defined as flexible vegetarianism, eating more vegetables than meat). Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., professor and air quality specialist for the Department of Animal Science at the University of California – Mitloehner, says in order to meet EAT-Lancet’s solution of replacing meat with nuts, the U.S. would have to increase nut production by 580 percent.

“What we need are more nutrient-rich foods like beef and eggs,” Dr. Mitloehner explains.

As others try to influence dietary guidelines throughout the world, Dr. Mitloehner cautioned that the often-cited data in the 2006 FAO report (Livestock’s Long Shadow) and other soon-to-follow reports will continue to make inaccurate claims about food production.

“The way you produce animals has a profound impact on environmental footprint,” Dr. Mitloehner says. “Although these reports are full of inaccuracies, don’t just disregard them as they will impact us for a long time. Check them for credibility and respond in a meaningful way.”

The fact is that beef production, including the production of animal feed, is responsible for only 3.3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. This is dramatically lower than the often-misquoted global livestock figure of 14.5 percent2.

Dr. Mitloehner goes on to explain that global numbers have intentionally distorted the sustainability picture. Truth be told? By continuously improving their production practices, today, U.S. beef farmers and ranchers are able to produce the same amount of beef with one-third-fewer cattle than they did in 1977.

This is exactly why the checkoff conducted the lifecycle assessment – to give consumers and the industry the real story of beef sustainability – something everyone can read and believe.

“This lifecycle assessment delivers the most comprehensive and accurate assessment of the environmental impact of beef cattle in the U.S. to date,” says USDA researcher and study co-author Alan Rotz.

This information was distributed via the wire to consumer-directed media outlets, and it is also currently featured on the “Beef in a Healthy, Sustainable Diet” page on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. For more information about beef production practices and sustainability, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Beef Sustainability: Fact vs. Myth

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your laces tightened up, we are running for beef!

Every weekend, Northeast Team Beef members positively advocate for beef as they participate in road races located in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. The 31 members on the team have collectively ran 499 miles since October 1, 2018.

The concept of Team Beef is not a new one, but it is a program that is constantly changing, incredibly relevant and one that at the core, addresses the beef industry long range plan strategic initiative of “Engaging Beef Advocates.” Team Beef is a nationally supported program through which the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative is able to extend the rich educational content developed by the checkoff to Team Beef members.

And, what better group of first-party spokespeople to exemplify the nationally developed messages of the Strength Campaign than Team Beef members?

Reaching the Masses

Northeast Team Beef members reach two primary groups. The first being other runners through their in-person participation in race events. The races all take place within the region and can be anything from small local races to large urban races. The second audience includes their own circles of influence on social media. These Northeast Team Beef members have a large social media reach each and every time they complete a race – proudly advocating for beef in the diet of an athlete. During the first quarter of the year, they have a total reach of 46,919 and 6,638 engagements. These engagements are furthering the mission of the beef checkoff, which is to drive demand for beef!

Every one of these individuals has a unique story to tell about how they believe beef is a beneficial part of their diet – crucial to their recovery and an integral part of their weekly meals.

Hear From Just a Few:

Karen Esdall: Karen is from Virginia, and at the start of her running journey, Karen weighed 270 pounds. Today, she is a proud, strong and very active, 170-pound runner who enjoys running. In addition to becoming more physically active, Karen also is more careful about what she eats. She shares that carbohydrate-heavy meals followed by sugary desserts have been replaced by lean meats, good fats and delicious salads – not drenched in creamy dressings. Karen has learned how to design a healthy diet and fill her plate with nutrient-dense foods, making beef something she is really passionate about! This past fall, she ran her first full marathon.

Abbie Gellman: Abbie is a Registered Dietitian and chef based in New York City. She is one of the newest members and since joining the team, has increased her chatter about beef on social media. She demonstrates a growing level of interest in learning more about beef and the beef community as she continues through her journey as a Northeast Team Beef member.

Chris Free: Chris, from Virginia, is new to Team Beef and has been using his connections with local media outlets and his profession as a creative media manager to document his races.

Meg Sauve: Also from Virginia, Meg is a former officer in the Marine Corps and served two tours in Iraq. She may be one of the most die-hard consumers of beef on the team. She shared this quote in her member profile, “Beef is such a fantastic nutrient-dense food. It’s satiating and satisfying, and there are so many options – my favorite being a ribeye steak. I have seen such great progress with my own running and health since going low-carb, and I hope that others can learn that you do not have to depend on carbs, grains, sugar, or even super lean white meats — that a good steak or ground beef or filet can fuel your body, your workouts and your brain – and keep you feeling great!”

To learn more about how to advocate on Team Beef, contact your state beef council.

Frequently Asked Questions

The topic of beef sustainability continues to exist among consumers, the media and the beef industry. Your Beef Checkoff continues to work toward shifting the sustainability conversation in a different direction – one of a positive view of the beef industry and production practices.

During a recent Sustainability Workshop in Denver, Colorado, Sara Place, Ph.D., Senior Director of Sustainable Beef Production Research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), contractor to the Beef Checkoff, said, “Our research shows consumers feel comfortable seeing recipes next to stories about beef production and consider it credible information when there is a face or expert associated with the content.”

The workshop exposed agriculture trade media partners to the current discussion happening around beef and sustainability, and consumer insights and market research related to beef sustainability. According to the 2017 Consumer Image Index, only 30 percent of consumers say they are familiar with how cattle are raised, but 77 percent of consumers think it is important for beef producers to openly share production information with the public.

In discussion about consumer behavior perspectives on beef sustainability related issues, Dr. Glynn Tonsor, Ph.D., Kansas State University Agricultural Economics Faculty Professor, said, “The world needs and wants more protein. New sources will continue to arise, but there is room for both conventional and new protein items.” According to Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Director of Sustainability at JBS USA, sustainability will be a top five demand driver over the next 20 years. To ensure consumers know the facts about beef sustainability, the Beef Checkoff conducts research to better understand the needs of today’s consumer.

Leading the Way

Quantifying the sustainability of beef is challenging, as the supply chain is one of the most multifaceted food systems in the world. However, the beef industry paved the way with the checkoff’s comprehensive lifecycle assessment which quantifies and benchmarks environmental, social and economic aspects of the beef industry from 2005 to 2011. Most recent work aimed to quantify important environmental impacts of beef cattle production systems for each of seven regions of the U.S. and then, use those regional assessments to determine national impacts of cattle production. Additional studies shared during the workshop focused on human edible feed conversion research (upcycling) and the economic value of beef cattle ranching and farming-based ecosystem services.

“Our industry continues to make advancements and improvements in the sustainability of U.S. beef production,” concluded Place. “Thanks to beef checkoff efforts, we are positioned as credible experts and work to communicate these positive messages throughout the beef value-chain.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Northeast influencers got an inside look at Pennsylvania’s veal industry through “Raising Today’s Veal,” a VIP event hosted Sept. 18 to 19, 2018, in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The tour offered an opportunity to learn about the veal industry in depth, talk with a local veal producer and tour the Marcho Processing Plant in order to better understand the veal community.

Donna Moenning, a facilitator of the Veal Quality Assurance Program, kicked off the VIP evening on September 18, introducing veal and how these cattle are raised. To further engage our influencers, she touched on industry standards and the level of commitment to quality care by the farm families that raise them. To help tell that story, Mike Kunsman, a veal producer from La Jose, Pennsylvania, went through the day-to-day tasks on his farm, explaining all the care and dedication that goes into raising quality, nutritious protein. Mike is a third-generation farmer and has been a grower for Marcho for the past 16 years.

Dr. Aydin, Director Research and Nutrition at Marcho Farms, Inc., and Robert Supanick, representative from Mountain States Rosen, also joined the evening gathering to provide insight on all aspects of the veal community. VIP evening attendees included five Registered Dietitians from Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as three career chefs and culinary instructors from Pennsylvania.

The following day, the influencer group and students from the Culinary Institute of Philadelphia joined for a tour of the Marcho Processing Plant, which began as a two-person veal farm when founder Wayne Marcho purchased his first calf in 1969. Today, the Marcho family operates a fully-integrated veal and lamb manufacturing facility — providing premium veal cuts and products for families to enjoy nationwide and globally. Attendees toured the Marcho Feed Mill where precision and science are weaved together to create a balanced, milk-replacer formula, which all the veal growers feed to their calves. The tour then led influencers and students through the harvest floor, processing center and cutting rooms where veal products were cut down and packaged to be shipped to retail and foodservice establishments.

To the surprise of many attendees, the veal animals were a lot larger than expected, being upwards of 500 pounds at the time of harvest, helping to put into perspective how the veal landscape has changed over the year. Many were also excited to hear that all veal calves are now raised in group housing barns, a national initiative that was achieved in 2017.

Dr. Sonia Arnold, Manager of Nutrition, Research and Quality Control, and Chad Yoder, Calf Procurement, both of Marcho Farms, led the group through their facility. The day ended with a Veal Parmesan lunch and discussions on how veal is marketed by Anthony Tomassian, a Manufacturer Sales Representative for Marcho.

Throughout the experience, attendees were encouraged to ask questions and openly engage in dialogue with Marcho executives, veal growers and industry members. With the veal community opening their doors to showcase how today’s veal is raised, the Beef Checkoff was able to highlight the improvements the industry has made through group housing and help dispel myths surrounding veal production.

Pre- and post-tour survey results showed a 40 percent attitudinal shift towards a positive favorability rating for beef with all participants citing they feel the positives of beef outweigh the negative.

“I was amazed at how much care was taken at each stage of the veal process, from feeding the calves superior nutrition to housing and transporting them in a clean, safe and humane environment,” commented Kim Schwabanbauer. “This industry has come a long way and that is a story that demands to be told. The other real surprise was the sustainability aspect with the use of an animal that would otherwise be discarded. Every piece of the animal was used in a way that made sense for consumption or for the environment, right down to the heart linings being sent to St. Jude’s Hospital for research. There was a lot of thought put into how to make everything work for the good of the order.”

Attendees were encouraged to check out VealFarm.com and VealMadeEasy.com for more information, recipes, nutrition information and more.

This tour was made possible by the Pennsylvania Beef Council and the checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative with funding support from the Kentucky Beef Council. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Beef Council, visit www.pabeef.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Article via NEBPI, a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff

Throughout the month of September, the Beef Checkoff is partnering with Northeast-based blogger Christina Hitchcock of It Is A Keeper surrounding Back to School with Beef. Recipes, time saving tips, tricks and more will be shared with followers to help get the school year off to a happy and healthy start.

Christina kicked off the series with a post about utilizing a multi-cooker to cook frozen Ground Beef to utilize in a variety of recipes. We’ve all been in the 5 o’clock panic, realizing we don’t have beef thawed out in the refrigerator. The blog post outlines the ease of utilizing a multi-cooker to get safe, fully-cooked Ground Beef in under 30 minutes. You can read it, here. Additional posts will include:

Additional outreach surrounding this campaign included a sponsored segment on WNEP-TV’s Home & Backyard, which aired Saturday, September 8th. The segment featured Christina walking through her quick weeknight Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells recipe. The segment can be viewed, here. Nutritional messaging was also shared throughout the segment to remind viewers that beef’s essential nutrients will fuel their family’s busy lifestyle. Kaitlyn Carey, Director of Consumer Affairs with the checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative notes, “Our partnership with social influencers, like Christina, allows us to have a larger impact with Northeast consumer groups we would not have access to without these relationships.”

Partnership opportunities like this allow the Beef Checkoff to engage directly with our regional social influencers, while disseminating beef information to our Northeast consumers. Beef checkoff-funded research [1] in the Northeast shows that nutrition-focused efforts are making a difference with the Northeast’s metropolitan consumers. Messaging related to beef’s protein, lean cuts and essential nutrients appear to be reaching and favorably influencing consumers.

For more insight into our Back to School campaign visit the NortheastLovesBeef Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. For more information, visit NEBPI.org.

Media Contact:

Kaitlyn Carey; kcarey@pabeef.org or visit the NEBPI website.

[1] Consumer Beef Index, July 2017, Funded by the Beef Checkoff

Frequently Asked Questions

Article via NEBPI, a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff

The modern-day grocery shopping experience is a far cry from how our parents shopped for their family meals. Technology is truly changing the way we shop for food, isn’t it? You really are just a few clicks away from your groceries showing up at your door step in a matter of hours, complete with helpful meal solutions to pull off a home-cooked meal in under 30 minutes. The Beef Checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) took advantage of several non-traditional retail marketing platforms this summer, ensuring that Northeast shoppers chose beef as the center for their summer celebratory meals.

Long gone are the coupon clipping days and instead, modern shoppers can access recipes, cooking tips and product rebates right from their smartphones. The checkoff continues to find value in focusing on influencing the shopper’s buying decision before they step foot inside the grocery store. Ibotta, a mobile retail rebate app boasting 24 million downloads is the third most frequently used shopping app. This summer, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic shoppers had the opportunity to engage with checkoff-funded beef recipes and cooking tips, to unlock rebates on fresh beef through the Ibotta app. The campaign reached over 2,500 retail locations and the geographical reach of their footprint included the entire New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. Stores included Hannaford, Stop and Shop, Giant, Giant Food, Martin’s, Food Lion, Weis Markets and Redner’s Warehouse Markets. The campaign included tiered beef rebates structured to target both new and existing beef users, encouraging shoppers to shift up in the beef category from ground beef to whole muscle cuts and ultimately become repeat beef purchasers. The campaign was a partnered effort between the NEBPI, the Pennsylvania Beef Council, Virginia Beef Council, Iowa Beef Industry Council and North Carolina Beef Council.

Additionally, the Beef Checkoff’s NEBPI partnered with the East Coast online retailer giant, Fresh Direct, for a 4th of July beef burger campaign. Campaign promotional elements included a themed homepage ad featuring beef, leading up to and including the holiday weekend, a grilling landing page and shopping page featuring beef burgers. The campaign also offered run-of-site checkoff banner ads featuring the Beef Checkoff’s “Nicely Done” artwork, select beef SKUs boosted in consumer search bars, a blog article featuring a “Beef. it’s What’s For Dinner.” burger recipe, a box insert, e-blasts and social media posts to further elevate the reach of the campaign.

As a result of both digital retail-focused campaigns, over 3.5 million impressions were garnered. The Ibotta campaign achieved nearly 140,000 consumer engagements which drove the sale of over 43,000 units of beef during the 5-week campaign.

Christie Brown, the NEBPI’s Director of Marketing commented at the conclusion of both campaigns, “Not only does the checkoff have the opportunity to deepen relationships with regional retailers through these beef campaigns, but it’s also an incredible way to reach and engage with our Northeast-based consumers, all while driving beef sales at the retail level.”

For more information, visit NEBPI.org.

Media Contact:

Christie Brown, cbrown@pabeef.org or visit the NEBPI website.