3/3/2017 12:00:00 AM
The 3 Ds Strategy to Market U.S. Beef Worldwide
When the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), contractor to the beef
checkoff, is making plans to increase the movement of U.S. beef into export
markets, they keep a “3-D” strategy in mind: 1) Develop, 2) Displace and 3)
Defend. That is, Develop new markets and new sectors in existing markets,
Displace the competition, and Defend the U.S. market share against aggressive
competition by other beef exporters worldwide.
Developing a new market for U.S. beef is not an overnight endeavor. Consider
Central America: The region is home to many countries at various stages of
development, yet the initial strategy in each country is to bring buyers and
sellers together. Your beef checkoff is supporting this effort through the
annual Latin American Buyer Showcase, which brings hundreds of buyers and
sellers together. Once those initial relationships have been established the
growing pool of loyal beef users makes the product visible to other players,
especially among those in the hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI)
sectors, and the impetus for them to also purchase U.S. beef grows stronger.
Initially, many accounts in these target markets have been conservative with
their U.S. beef orders. However, through educational seminars and workshops on
alternative beef cuts, importers began diversifying their U.S. beef portfolios,
adding brisket, top blade, flap steak and sirloin. Some importers have also
begun to explore further opportunities with U.S. beef at retail – through both
traditional and online purveyors.
Multiyear efforts funded by the checkoff have been effective in replacing
Australian beef in the meat cases of key retail chains in the<img width="300" height="152" align="right" style="margin: 3px; float: right;" alt="South Korea - Costco stores sell U.S.
beef" src="http://www.beefboard.org/news/files/FY2017/CostcoExports.png" v:shapes="_x0000_s1026" /> country in South Korea. There, Costco store
managers were provided with information about increasing consumer confidence in
the safety of U.S. beef, along with consumer perception of the product’s
Because of these efforts, 15 Costco warehouses are converting from imported
chilled beef from Australia to 100 percent U.S. product!
With the increasing number of U.S. beef end-users in the market, as well as
growth in consumer confidence in the product (now at 54 percent), Korea’s
imports of U.S. beef will finally surpass imports of Australian beef. In 2016,
U.S. beef exports to Korea jumped by 42 percent to nearly 395 million pounds,
valued at $1.06 billion dollars – an increase of 31 percent from the previous
Despite the challenges of Mexico’s weak peso and higher U.S. prices, U.S.
beef is performing well in Mexico. Checkoff-support efforts leveraged the
increased supply of U.S. beef to win back customers in Mexico – especially by
promoting economically priced alternative cuts such as rounds, which add
quality and variety to menus and meat cases.
Driving further growth, USMEF collaborated with partners in the Mexican
market to tap into new market segments and channels with major importer,
processor and retailer accounts. For example, working with a new account, Grupo
Bafar (a major importer and further processor that owns about 250 small
convenience stores throughout Mexico), USMEF set up a joint promotion in 87
Carne Mart meat boutique stores located primarily in the Yucatan and Chihuahua
regions. After promoting a product mix of nine different U.S. beef cuts, U.S.
beef sales were up 37 percent in volume compared to the previous year.
A variety of tools are used to develop new markets, displace competition and
defend market share. These include building trade relationships and gathering
intelligence about the market; working at world food trade shows to reinforce
relationships and find new opportunities; building informed trade teams that
foster business relationships between buyers and sellers; providing seminars,
training and promotions that encourage retailers and foodservice
operators to add U.S. beef to their offerings and then expand those offerings;
and communications efforts through traditional and online channels to reach
targeted buyers and stimulate their purchases.
Foreign marketing efforts are a vital part of “beefing up” beef consumption
around the world. But, whether the marketing effort is down the street or on
the opposite side of the globe, they all depend on the checkoff to serve as the
catalyst that lights a fire under those marketing efforts.