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Despite a challenging economy, Certified Angus Beef posted sales of 634 million pounds in 2008, the highest mark in the Wooster, Ohio-based company's 30 year history, which represents an increase of 51 million pounds, or 8.8 percent vs. 2007.
What's more, having hit six of its historical top 10 sales months during the past 12-month period and an all-time high in August with sales of 58 million pounds, licensed CAB retailers increased sales by more than 10 percent, selling more than 318 million pounds.
"This has been a remarkable year and the accomplishments have been many - from a notable 634 million pounds to our divisional and monthly sales records," said CAB president John Stika, who noted that the multi-milestone scorecard "speaks to the integrity of the brand and the decades of success our licensed partners have had in providing consumers a high-quality product."
CAB's international sales also increased nearly 20 percent, totaling 62 million pounds. Canadian partners continued to lead the division, while notable gains were recorded in Mexico, Asia and the Caribbean, according to CAB. The foodservice division also saw sales gains by 4.5 million pounds, for a total of 213 million pounds.
Value-added product sales set a record with sales exceeding 14 million pounds for the year, thanks in large part to convenience-oriented items marinated London broil and a meatloaf designed for retailers' rotisseries.
More than 14.2 million head of cattle were identified for the brand - an increase of more than 750,000 head in the past year - and 2.5 million head certified. Acceptance rates rose to 17.8 percent.
CAB's natural extension also continued to gain popularity, with sales increasing 25 percent over last year. Licensed partners, particularly grocers, have found it represents another option for consumers who crave premium quality beef but appreciate a natural option. Consumers also drove sales of more than 5.2 million pounds of CAB branded Prime.
"Our success, and the success of our partners, lies in our ability to be relevant in today's market," Stika summed.