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Beef receives positive marks with consumers

published: April 19th 2019
by: Martha Hollida Garrett
Contrary to what is often heard and read, consumers really do like to eat beef and have positive opinions about farmers and ranchers. Recent research conducted by the National Beef Cattlemen’s Associa-tion (NCBA) and Beef Checkoff points in a positive direction for the beef cattle industry.
    Alissa Harrison, NCBA’s senior vice-president for global marketing and research reported on a survey as part of the research the recent Texas and Southwestern Cattle Rais-ers Convention held in Fort Worth at the end of March.
Harrison said that the research shows consumers do like farmers and ranchers, but they do not have a clear understanding of what farmer and ranchers do. 
“Fifty percent of those researched were neutral on whether they understand what farmers and ranchers do,” she said, adding that this underlines the need for producers to further tell their story and visit with consumers about their role in producing food.
The research also said that consumers like beef. Harrison said that two-thirds or 66% percent of the group were positive about beef, while 80% were positive about chicken, citing convenience and price as lead reasons. Taste was the leading reason consumers listed for choosing beef in their diet.
On the negative side, health was listed as the primary concern for consumers eating less beef, which Harrison noted that as an industry we are still fighting the negative perceptions and messages that were prevalent in the 1970’s and 1980’s about beef from the medical community.
Despite the media hype, consumers also had some interesting things to say about meat substitutes or cell based protein products, better known as fake meat or lab grown meat. Consumers overwhelming said beef was considered one of the best protein sources available and five percent even said cricket powder would be a better protein source than lab grown protein.
“We’re in a good spot with consumers,” Harrison explained to producers. “They like our product. They want to know where it comes from, but they want to know that about all their purchases. We need to daily tell our story, tell what you do in your operation, how you raise beef and share your story with consumers. Despite what you might hear from detractors, we have a positive story to tell.” 
She went on to say that consumption for beef products is expected to increase this coming year. Mainly because the buying power is shifting to the millennial demographic, who rate beef very high among protein sources. 
Buying decisions are made differently now, Harrison shared, which also impacts beef demand. Consumers rely heavily on social media platforms for their information, including how to use a product once purchased and want information quickly.
Harrison shared some of the ways Beef Checkoff marketing dollars were being directed at today’s consumers to be part of this consumer trend. Beef Checkoff has on trend videos on YouTube, is active on Facebook and Twitter feeds with graphics, and is even part of the popular smart home devices like Alexa and Google with Chuck Knows Beef. 
Chuck Knows Beef is a new beef virtual assistant. Powered by Google Artificial Intelligence and developed in partnership with VMLY&R, a leading digital marketing agency, Chuck is the new virtual go-to expert on all things beef. Chuck can be easily accessed at ChuckKnows Beef.com or by simply enabling Chuck Knows Beef with Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant devices. Design-ed to be a go-to consumer resource for beef knowledge and recipe inspiration, Chuck provides instant access to recipes, cuts and nutrition information and cooking tips– plus a whole lot more. Con-sumers can ask Chuck questions like: what should I cook tonight, what is a strip steak, at what temperature is steak well done, how much protein is in beef, and how does raising beef affect the environment?
      Chuck can also be of help to the 70 percent of consumers who agree that technical support would be helpful when shopping for beef; by texting recipe shopping lists directly to users. If that isn’t a good enough reason to become quick friends, Chuck is also great company in the kitchen with a fun personality and a “good dad joke from time to thyme”.
“We were inspired to develop a tool that empowers shoppers to feel more confident when approaching the meat case and purchasing and cooking beef for their families,” said Season Solorio, NCBA executive director of brand marketing and communications “Chuck is an ideal solution for bridging the gap between consumers’ love of beef and increasing use of technology in the kitchen.”
      Chuck is the latest example of the many ways the Beef Checkoff’s brand:  Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. brand is embracing technology to reach today’s tech savvy families. In 2017, 25 years after “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” first became a household slogan, the iconic brand was relaunched with a new website design-ed to be a complete source for beef inspiration and information, including of-fering a look at the farmers and ranchers across the country who work hard every day to raise beef. Since the brand’s relaunch, BeefIts WhatsForDinner. com has attracted more than 15 million visitors by keeping pace with today’s consumers and blending innovation with the time-honored tradition and rich heritage of raising beef.
      To help spread the word about Chuck, Beef Check-off is partnering with nutritionists, food bloggers and social media influencers to share how Chuck is a good source for beef information. As you tell your story to consumers, be sure to introduce them to Chuck, too.

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