Canadian beef enjoyed by Hispanics in U.S.
March 23, 2010
by Bryan Salvage
CALGARY, AB – U.S retailers targeting Hispanic consumers are choosing Canadian beef products more often to differentiate themselves and deliver on customer satisfaction, according to The Beef Information Centre (B.I.C.). B.I.C. is working with these retailers to build branded programs designed to deliver on quality and consistency.
Canadian beef delivers on characteristics the Hispanic market finds desirable, said Marty Carpenter, senior director, U.S. marketing, B.I.C. “The Hispanic consumer prefers bright red meat color and white fat, two attributes that are unique to Canada’s grading system and part of the attributes we call the Canadian Beef Advantage, which are found in our top grades, Canada Prime, AAA, AA or A,” he said.
B.I.C. has made significant inroads in the Hispanic market in the U.S. over the past three years. It more than doubled its client list. Beef sales to each client also increased. To achieve its success, B.I.C. first identifies companies that capitalize on the attributes of Canadian beef. B.I.C. aligns retailers with Canadian packers and distributors and then helps retailers build customized beef programs, which includes consumer-based research, development of promotional and point of sale materials, advertising and merchandising support, customer seminars and staff training.
One retailer working with B.I.C. using Canadian beef products to stay competitive and differentiate their company in the marketplace is Merit Foods, Tucson, Ariz. Merit Foods is a foodservice distributer selling to smaller Hispanic retailers and mainstream customers.
Merit said it has achieved a 30% increase in the volume of beef sales since beginning its partnership with B.I.C. last summer.
“The growth of our beef sales has exceeded our expectations,” said Scott Butler, general manager, Merit Foods. “We were able to improve the value and consistency of our service and, in turn, customers recognize the quality of the Canadian brand and now request it.”
Customers of Merit were allowed to use the new products, test the quality and consistency of the new brand and Merit then provided details on the new Canadian supplier. By then, customers recognized the brand, asking for additional cuts and increasing their orders, B.I.C. relays.
“Canadian suppliers tend to raise a small variety of cattle types, resulting in a consistent carcass, specifically in terms of trim ratio, product size, meat color and quality,” Mr. Carpenter said.
Canadian beef is judged acceptable by significantly more American beef buyers than beef from any other listed country, according to a recently-completed study of U.S. consumers.