CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The beef checkoff is kicking off a summer grilling BBQ tour in partnership with Sam’s Club and the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS). Called the American GrillMaster Experience, this beef BBQ demonstration and educational tour will include beef grilling demonstrations, product samples, recipes and other checkoff resources designed to educate consumers on grilling techniques.

Eighteen events are planned to take place at Sam’s Club parking lots in 17 states from June through October.

“Mobile sampling and demonstration tours are fast becoming one of the most effective marketing platforms in America today,” said Jane Frost, vice chair of the checkoff’s Joint Retail Committee and (segment), San Jon, NM. “Savvy consumers demand to see, try, taste and experience products for themselves before they make purchase decisions. Connecting with consumers through promotional sampling in a fun and exciting environment proves to be one of the best ways to engage our target audience, promote our beef products and drive home our promotional messages that keep beef in the minds and in the shopping carts of our consumers.”

In 2010, Sam’s Club launched a pilot competitive BBQ program and became the first major retailer to host official KCBS-sanctioned competitive events. The events were extremely popular, and Sam’s Club soon became the official supplier of the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

From that 2010 pilot program, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour came into existence. The inaugural tour launched in spring 2011 and has since grown into the largest competitive BBQ series in the US. The checkoff-sponsored GrillMaster events run in conjunction with Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour.

“This tour provides the checkoff with a unique and fun opportunity to showcase beef cuts that perform great on the grill at a variety of price points, while engaging directly with consumers,” Frost said. “Another important aspect to this partnership is that through coordination with our state beef councils and possibly National Beef Ambassadors, a ‘beef team’ will be on hand to pass along recipes, cooking tips and other materials designed to educate and inform the thousands of grill enthusiasts throughout the summer.”