The Certified Angus Beef (CAB’s) brand’s sustained growth, particularly during a period of significant economic downturns and rising costs across all segments of the industry, shows its value to consumers and producers, said John Stika, CAB president.
Increased demand is not only proven by sales success, but also documented by new research from Kansas State Univ. showing since 2002 demand for the CAB brand has increased 56 percent, while demand for commodity Choice beef increased 20 percent.
The CAB brand’s growth was balanced, with increases among steaks, end meats and ground beef, Stika noted. Sales were especially strong during the summer grilling season and buoyed by licensed partners’ promotions of premium middle-meat steaks. June, July and August each surpassed the 70-million-lb. mark.
The rebounding economy meant more customers were dining out at the brand’s nearly 8,000 licensed restaurants, leading to a 11 percent increase in foodservice division sales, totaling 250 million lbs. While new distribution was added in 2011, partners with more than two years of sales saw increases over 8 percent, indicating sustained growth in the sector.
Demand among the brand’s 5,900 licensed retailers remained strong, with the division posting sales of more than 395 million lbs. – 49 percent of the total. Retail partners who featured the brand in circulars and implemented sales promotions found strong profit opportunities despite rising costs, according to CAB.
Licensed partners outside the US also found growth opportunities with the brand, and netted record international sales of 90 million lbs. – a 13 percent increase over last year. Canada and Mexico were the strongest foreign markets.
Demand continued to grow for high-quality convenience and fully-cooked products. Sales of branded, value-added products also set a sales record of 18.5 million lbs. Popular new offerings included cooked, frozen sliced steak for fajitas and meatloaf sliders.
Nearly 16,000 businesses partner with the CAB brand in the US and 42 countries, generating an estimated $4 billion in consumer sales annually. Introduced in 1978, the CAB brand is a cut above USDA Prime, Choice and Select thanks to 10 strict quality standards.