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    Beef Checkoff Posts Smoking Summer Grilling Sales

    DENVER -On the heels of its highly successful 2007 Summer Grilling campaign, the Beef Checkoff here is cooking up new promotional plans for 2008 to encourage customers to fire up their grills for America's favorite protein.

    DENVER -On the heels of its highly successful 2007 Summer Grilling campaign, the Beef Checkoff here is cooking up new promotional plans for 2008 to encourage customers to fire up their grills for America's favorite protein.

    According to FreshLook Marketing, dollar sales grew by 1.5 percent to more than $5.3 billion during the 17-week period from May to September. Beef sales represented 55 percent of total fresh meat dollar sales, an increase of two percent compared to the prior 17-week period.

    During the Summer Grilling time frame, grilling cuts accounted for $3.5 billion of the $5.3 billion in total beef sales. 8.7 million pounds of grilling cuts were sold averaging $4.02 per pound. The growth in total beef sales came largely from grilling cuts, which include popular steak cuts as well as ground beef. In fact, grilling cuts accounted for66 percent of total beef dollar sales and 63 percent of total beef pound sales during the Summer Grilling time frame, up from 62 percent and 58 percent respectively compared to the previous 17-weeks.

    The Summer Grilling season is a critical time for beef to gain incremental support from retailers. During the 17-week season, ad features increased by 37 percent over 2006. For the 17-weeks prior to the Summer Grilling season, beef featuring increased 21 percent over the same period in 2006. Grilling cuts represented 40 percent of "A" ads, a 32 percent increase vs. the prior 17-week period.

    "The 2007 Summer Grilling season was very successful [and] we are very pleased with the results," said Randy Irion, director of retail marketing for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which contracts to manage retail programs for the Beef Checkoff. "We have put together new co-marketing partnerships for the 2008 campaign to encourage customers to choose beef at the meat case for all their grilling occasions."

    To build upon the successful beef sales generated by previous years' programs, the Beef Checkoff has put together another program for 2008, details of which will be forthcoming soon.
    "We are also in the midst of planning a Father's Day promotions," said Irion, noting that the occasion is a great beef holiday. Details of the latter promotion will also be announced in a free standing insert ad.

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