SEOUL – Cargill recently announced the company is supplying beef to a new concept store in South Korea called “It’s Meat.” The company partnered with Seoul-based AG Meat, a specialty meat distributor, to offer Excel — Cargill’s premium US beef brand — at the It’s Meat stores.

“The demand for safe, imported beef has increased given the price has stabilized,” said Jin-Tae Ha, general manager, Cargill Korea. “Given this demand, Cargill Protein is diversifying distribution channels to provide more Korean consumers access to high-quality Excel beef.”

Excel-brand beef sold through It’s Meat locations is subject to a seven-step, regulated production system to ensure safe handling through to product packaging. According to Cargill, “micro-sized pathogens are accurately removed through a new scientific process offered by Cargill Protein globally to support food safety.”

Three It’s Meat stores currently operate in Korea and AG Meat plans to open 300 additional stores in the market over the next three years. Market penetration of Excel beef is expected through growth into direct management and franchise options. Cargill Protein will supply Excel beef to all 300 It’s Meat stores along with marketing and technical support to expand domestic distribution, the company said. Excel beef already is sold at various retailers in Korea including, Costco, Lotte Mart and e-Mart in addition to convenience stores.

“Korea is an important market for us and we are excited to bring Excel beef — and food safety protocols — to more consumers in this region,” said John Niemann, president of Cargill Protein ingredients and international channel. “We look forward to continuing to build bridges across global markets and are committed to expanding our offerings in Korea.”