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Checkoff Watch: Consumer promotion program puts beef on more dinner plates

Published on 24 June 2020

Most of us remember going grocery shopping with our parents as children, heading to one or more stores to stock up on all the best bargains in the weekly circular. Today, many consumers look at grocery shopping not as an event but as yet another task they must squeeze into their busy schedules.

Fortunately, technology has helped streamline the grocery-buying process, a fact that’s become absolutely critical since the advent of COVID-19. More people than ever before are ordering groceries on their smartphones, tablets and laptops, trying to “flatten the curve” and get more done in less time. Meanwhile, consumers have multiple protein options competing for their dollars as they try to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” For all these reasons and more, the Beef Checkoff is tailoring its consumer promotion strategies to better connect with the ever-changing beef consumer.

The Beef Checkoff’s consumer promotion program positions beef as the number one protein through advertising, merchandising and new product development, as well as through training and promotional partnerships with dietitians, chefs, restaurants and supermarkets. Right now, multiple checkoff initiatives are showcasing beef’s many positive attributes and making it easier for consumers to choose and purchase the world’s most popular protein.

The incredible growth of online grocery shopping has inspired one such initiative. The famous “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand, funded by the Beef Checkoff, has executed digital and physical campaigns with Instacart, the largest third-party grocery delivery service in North America. The digital campaign served up taste- and nutrition-focused messaging about beef on Instacart’s online platforms, increasing sales by 25%. Meanwhile, 35% of customers who received an informative insert about beef in their Instacart grocery bags subsequently purchased beef on Instacart. And, of those who purchased, more than 50% hadn’t purchased beef through Instacart in the past year.

“Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” also launched a “Nicely done, beef.” digital marketing and social media campaign that reached consumers an impressive 1 billion times in 2019. Targeting consumers through various media channels, this campaign shared messages about beef’s unbeatable taste and nutritional benefits as well as the dedicated cattlemen producing high-quality beef. Some of these clever messages include “Nicely done, beef. You’re the king of cookouts and workouts.” And “Nicely done, beef. You give people a reason to use the drooling emoji.”

Utilizing technology, the brand delivers these messages based on geotargeting. For example, when the location sensors on consumers’ smartphones ping at their local grocery stores, they may be served up an ad for beef, encouraging them to pick some up for dinner that night. Every device in a home that’s connected to Wi-Fi, including televisions streaming shows from Netflix or Hulu, can now be served a “Nicely Done, Beef” advertisement.

Another inventive way the checkoff is reaching consumers is through Chuck Knows Beef, an all-knowing virtual beef assistant. Checkoff-funded consumer research shows that millennials – a current key target audience for beef marketing – spend the majority of their time on digital devices. Furthermore, by 2020, 50% of all internet searches will be voice searches. Chuck Knows Beef gives consumers the ability to easily find beef information and recipe inspiration by simply “asking Chuck” a question via their computer desktop or mobile devices, as well as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. The checkoff is always looking for the best new ways to engage with consumers, and Chuck Knows Beef is a prime example of how we’re keeping beef relevant in today’s marketplace.

With so many of us connected to the internet 24/7, it’s no surprise that today’s consumers look for recommendations from online personalities like health professionals and chefs. The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a contractor to the checkoff, is working to partner with these influencers and promote beef’s great taste and nutrition throughout 2020. Notable influencers will distribute beef fact sheets and infographics on social media, while dietitians will participate in a beef self-study continuing education program.

Consumer behaviors and interests are constantly changing. The Beef Checkoff is committed to finding new avenues that expose even more consumers to beef’s versatility and drive beef demand worldwide. Learn more about the Beef Checkoff’s consumer promotion efforts at Driving demand for beef end mark

About The Beef Checkoff – 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.

Katie Cooper
  • Katie Cooper

  • Member
  • Cattlemen’s Beef Board
  • Willow Creek, Montana