WOOSTER, OHIO — Despite economic conditions, the Certified Angus Beef (C.A.B.) brand set monthly records in July and August for the most products sold during the months since the inception of the program in 1978.
In July, licensed restaurants and retailers marketed 60 million lbs., and then beat that monthly high mark by several million more pounds in August.
"Historically, these are big months with the summer grilling season, and retailers always carry most of that weight," said Clint Walenciak, C.A.B. director of packing.
The Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays help drive sales. "Combine that with the economy that had more people going to the grocery store, and it added up to back-to-back, chart-topping months," he added.
Mr. Walenciak also credits long-time partners with stepping up their efforts to push higher-quality beef. One such partner is Price Chopper, a 120-store grocery chain based in the Northeast.
"Our steak sales are just terrific," said Larry Ritzert, vice-president of meat merchandising for Price Chopper. "The conventional wisdom would be that things are tough so people are going to move down from middle meats to a tougher steak or to burgers. If you thought that, you’d be wrong this time. We’re seeing an influx of people buying steaks. It’s the people who want to have a good eating experience — if they’re spending money they want to enjoy it."
Cattle-grading trends have also bolstered the brand’s success, Mr. Walenciak said. "We’ve really been able to capitalize on the supplies available," he says.