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DENVER - The beef industry experienced another successful summer grilling season in 2006 as consumers kept the coals hot and their grills full of beef, according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which contracts to manage retail programs for the Beef Checkoff.
The Beef Checkoff Program executed its annual Summer Grilling campaign to encourage shoppers to visit their local meat departments and promote beef as America's top-selling protein.
The targeted campaign helped increase sales of beef grilling cuts during the 18-week program, according to an analysis of FreshLook Marketing data. Total beef dollar and pound sales rose three percent and six percent respectively versus the same period a year ago. Sales of beef grilling cuts accounted for 67 percent of total beef dollar sales during the 2006 campaign.
To build on last year's success, the 2007 Summer Grilling campaign will include additional co-marketing promotions, NCBA said. A recent Retailer Industry Thought Leader Survey indicated that retailers continue to look to the beef industry to develop co-marketing programs that increase visibility, traffic and meat sales.
"We are very pleased with the results of the 2006 Summer Grilling campaign," said Randy Irion, NCBA's director of retail marketing. "Last summer's success allows us to add more co-marketing partners in 2007 to increase the demand for beef."
Kraft Foods will offer approximately 90 million coupons for $1.00 off beef with the purchase of A1 steak sauce and marinades, via two FSIs and in-store merchandising. Kraft has been a participant since 2002.
"The A1 co-marketing promotion has always delivered increased sales of summer grilling cuts," said Dave Duley, director of meat and seafood for Hannaford Brothers. "The price cut from coupons combined with merchandising displays featuring beef at the grill has been very successful at enticing our customers to pick up beef while at the meat case."
New this year is a co-marketing partnership with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), promoting Wisconsin cheese, and Edwards frozen pies. The promotion pairs burgers, topped with Wisconsin cheese, and key lime pies for dessert.
The Beef Checkoff Program will also team with Samuel Adams beer and WMMB to promote the "Bold Flavors of Summer," which will feature coupons offering $2.00 off beef with the purchase of Samuel Adams.
The Beef Checkoff is also repeating a partnership with Sutter Home for the 17th annual Build a Better Burger contest. In-store promotions will be displayed in supermarkets across the country to invite contestants to participate. One winner will take home a $50,000 grand prize and have the winning recipe published in the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger cookbook.
In addition to national initiatives, many State Beef Councils will partner with retailers to add appetizing point-of-sale, tagged radio and sampling events to the summer beef push.