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    CAB Honors Retailers for Beef Expertise

    Awards presented at brand’s annual conference

    Retailers and distributors that excel in delivering premium beef were honored last week by Certified Angus Beef at the brand’s annual conference in Sunriver, Ore., attended by retailers, chefs, food distributors and cattle ranchers.

    “These retailers have elevated the meat case through creative marketing, merchandising and staff training,” said John Stika, CAB president. “Through these efforts, they have satisfied consumer demand for great-tasting beef and affirmed their role as beef experts in their markets.”

    Seven retail companies were recognized at the conference for Certified Angus Beef promotions and brand integrity:

    - Foodland Supermarkets Ltd., Honolulu, Retail Marketer of the Year, leads customers to the meat case with steak promotions and in-store cookouts. Advertising, social media and the corporate chef share meal solutions and beef tips for shoppers.
    - HEB Mexico, International Retail Marketer of the Year, advertises premium cuts in television, print and on billboards. Promotions for frankfurters and deli meats helped the company earn the International Value-added Products Marketer of the Year award. The company’s television commercial was selected by conference attendees to receive the People’s Choice Award for creative advertising.
    - Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co., Akron, Ohio, Retail Value-Added Products Marketer of the Year, added Certified Angus Beef deli meats to its lineup this year. Activities included point-of-sale materials, in-store promotions, features in the weekly circular and staff training.
    - Reasor’s Inc., Tahlequah, Okla., received Retail Brand Extension Marketer of the Year honors. Reasor’s markets the brand, including Certified Angus Beef Prime and Natural, using billboards, in-store signage, weekly features and coupons.
    - Quality Food Centers, Bellevue, Wash., Retail Advertiser of the Year, effectively uses weekly circulars, radio promotions and consumer events to promote high-quality beef.
    - Cermak Produce, Chicago, Retail Rising Star, has made the brand a central focus of the meat case since the stores began offering it in November. The circular features items nearly every week, helping to substantiate the retailer’s focus on quality.
    - Oxford Trading Co., Westwood, Mass., received the Retail Commitment to Integrity award for its focus on offering quality beef and helping retailers grow sales through promotions and new products.

    Eight other companies received awards for the most Certified Angus Beef product sold during the past year:

    - Meijer Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., Top Sales Volume Large Chain Retailer.
    - Strack & Van Til, Highland, Ind., Top Sales Volume Small Chain Retailer.
    - Skogen’s Festival Foods, Onalaska, Wis., Top Retail Average Volume Per Store – More than 10 stores.
    - McKinnon Butcher Shop North Inc., Danvers, Mass., Top Retail Average Volume Per Store – 10 or fewer stores.
    - Baesler’s Market, Terre Haute, Ind., Top Sales Volume Single Store Retailer.
    - Bi-Lo Inc., Greenville, S.C., Top Retail Sales Volume Increase.
    - Supervalu - Midwest Region, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Top Sales Volume Retail Distributor.
    - Topco Associates Inc., Skokie, Ill., Top Sales Volume Cooperative.

    In his opening address to the conference, Stika said the brand is doing well despite increasing costs across the food industry. “The quality beef movement continues to build momentum,” he said. Stika said brand delivered a fifth consecutive year of record sales, which is “extremely significant … because it represents a wave” that has allowed the brand to weather recent economic downturns.

    Retail sales for the brand were the second highest in its history this year after a slight decline from 2010 due to higher prices, Stika noted. Sales for all CAB products, and newer value-added offerings in particular, have shown healthy gains. Meanwhile, he added, the brand’s “cattlemen continue to ramp up production … demand is on our side.”

    Retailer-focused conference sessions showcased the latest CAB products hitting supermarket meat departments. Refrigerated items include seasoned London broil; sausages; and fully-cooked items such as prime rib, short ribs and pot roast. Frozen items include burger patties; fully-cooked steak strips and carne asada; and a meatball party platter. Available for retail delis are roast beef, corned beef and pastrami; and “grab-and-go” meatloaf and meatballs designed to be sold alongside rotisserie chickens. Further, CAB is partnering with Korean company CJ Foods to offer fresh-frozen ethnic items like balgogi (marinated sliced beef), nubiani (barbecued beef) and kalbi (beef ribs).

    Presenters also discussed CAB’s new education and culinary center in Wooster, Ohio, nearly completed, that will play host to retailers seeking meat manager training, merchandising ideas and guidance for case-ready displays.

    Introduced in 1978, the Wooster, Ohio-based Certified Angus Beef brand positions itself above USDA Prime, Choice and Select with 10 strict quality standards. Nearly 14,000 businesses partner with the brand in the United States and 46 other countries, generating an estimated $3.7 billion in consumer sales annually.

    PG Senior Editor James Dudlicek attended the 2011 CAB Annual Conference in Sunriver, Ore., Sept. 20-22.

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