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Broulim’s Fresh Foods, Haggen Food & Pharmacy/TOP Foods, Harris Teeter Inc., and Safeway received National Retail Beef Backer awards at the at the recent 2012 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. Funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, the awards pay tribute to grocers for outstanding marketing and merchandising initiatives relating to beef.
“The majority of beef sales in the United States depend on the commitment and dedication of supermarkets of all sizes,” noted Margie Hande, cow-calf operator in Amidon, N.D., and chair of the checkoff’s retail committee. “For the fifth year, we are able to say thank you to retailers that are blazing new trails in the meat case and making beef more accessible to their consumers both through checkoff-funded programs and their own innovative marketing and merchandising efforts.”
In the Independent Retailer category, seven-store Broulim’s Fresh Foods won for the second year in a row. Known for its high-quality beef selection and retail experience, the Rigby, Idaho-based grocer boasts employees with in-depth information on new beef cuts, recipes, safety, labeling and even the production process. Broulim’s solid partnership with the Idaho Beef Council is shown through the use of such checkoff-funded initiatives as Summer Grilling Campaigns, Holiday Roast Campaigns, Beef Alternative Merchandising (BAM) and advertisements, all of which have dramatically boosted beef sales.
In the Mid-Size Retailer category, the winner was 28-store Haggen, a regional chain based in Bellingham, Wash., that has built is brand on providing high-quality local products. In 2011, Haggen launched a branded beef program featuring new cuts and recipes. By collaborating with the Beef Checkoff Program, the Washington State Beef Commission and its own employees, Haggen has raised awareness of its beef offerings and educated consumers on the protein’s various nutritional benefits and value through Summer Grilling and Holiday Roast campaigns.
In the Large Chain Retailer category, 206-store Harris Teeter took the title for the fourth time. A nationally recognized beef backer known for carrying the highest-quality meat products and a commitment to superior service, value, innovation and safety, Harris Teeter conducts deep consumer research to understand customer desires when considering beef purchases, resulting in highly effective product labeling and point-of-sale merchandising. Year after year, the Matthews, N.C.-based grocer places beef as a top priority in advertising and marketing efforts. Promotions such as the “Friday Night Steak” initiative have raised daily beef sales more than 80 percent.
The Innovator of the Year award went to 1694-store Safeway, a national retailer with the largest beef brand in the marketplace, Rancher's Reserve. Employing market insights, sales trends and checkoff-funded advertising, training and promotions, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based grocer consistently delivers on consumers’ expectations with proven sales results. Safeway is committed to driving innovative marketing tactics, among them new beef items like BAM, Slice ‘N Save and marinated meats, in addition to such seasonal promotions as the Mobile Grill.
An independent judging committee of retail industry professionals chose the winners based on submission criteria in a variety of promotional partnerships, beef merchandising and education programs. The judges further took into consideration retailers’ support of beef checkoff-funded initiatives such as BAM, Hispanic Marketing, Easy Fresh Cooking, Beef Training Camp, Summer Grilling and Holiday Roast promotions, along with store-specific campaigns.
Begun in 2006, the National Retail Beef Backer Awards program recognizes the partnership between beef producers and their grocery partners, and encourages other retailers to become more involved in the marketing and promotion of beef..
The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Centennial, Colo.-based Cattlemen’s Beef Board.