CHICAGO — The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has rounded up new food and beverage partners for cross promotions scheduled for supermarkets this year.
The trade group's summer-grilling campaign will conduct a number of retail promotions with Samuel Adams beer and Edward's Frozen Pies, as well as the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which will promote a selection of cheeses produced in the state. The groups represent new relationships for the NCBA.
The Beef Checkoff Program will team up with WMMB and Samuel Adams beer on a summer-grilling promotion. It will include coupons offering $2 off beef with the purchase of Sam Adams, in-store merchandising displays with beef recipes, customizable advertising templates, booklets containing recipes and entertaining tips, and in-store sampling events. Consumers shopping the deli departments will find counter cards suggesting Wisconsin cheese as the ideal topping for a burger.
The group is also working with WMMB and Edward's Frozen Pies to promote an entire summer meal — cheeseburgers with key lime pies for dessert.
The beef group will continue promotional activities with its old partners, Sutter Home wines and the A.1. brand of sauces and marinades from Kraft Foods. This year, about 90 million coupons offering $1 off beef with the purchase of A.1. products will be distributed by way of two freestanding inserts and in-store merchandising. A1 and the NCBA have worked together on the summer-grilling campaign since it got off the ground in 2002.
“The A.1. co-marketing promotion has always delivered increased sales of summer grilling cuts,” said Dave Duley, director of meat and seafood for Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine. “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.”
The Beef Checkoff Program and Sutter Home will team up for the 17th annual “Build a Better Burger” contest. The promotion, to be featured in supermarkets around the country, will encourage home cooks to participate in the contest, which will reward the creator of America's best burger with a $50,000 grand prize. The winner's recipe also will be included in the “Sutter Home Build a Better Burger” cookbook.
The projects with the beer and wine companies will be conducted only in the states where the beverages can be sold in supermarkets.
“This is the first time we'll be working with a beer company,” said Randy Irion, director of retail marketing for the NCBA, based in the group's Chicago office. “In the states with beer and wine in supermarkets, this is a great opportunity.”
Retailers like cross promotions. In fact, those who responded to the NCBA's 2006 Retail Industry Thought Leader Survey said they found such promotions effective at boosting beef sales.
“We've found the cross promotions we do are very well received by the retail trade,” Irion said. “We're certainly going to maintain what we're doing. We try to find new ways to work with our promotion partners.”
Officials were pleased with the results of the 2006 summer grilling campaign. The impact of the targeted campaign resulted in increased sales of beef grilling cuts during the course of the 18-week program, according to the NCBA. Total beef dollar and pound sales increased 3% and 6% respectively vs. the previous year, an analysis of Fresh Look Marketing data showed. Sales of beef grilling cuts accounted for 67% of total beef dollar sales during the 2006 promotion.
The NCBA also intends to highlight the nutritional aspects of beef this year. At the Annual Meat Conference, officials will cover the health benefits of beef in a presentation designed to show retailers how to convey the message to consumers. The meat conference is scheduled to take place Feb. 18-20 at the Caribe Royale Resorts in Orlando, Fla.
Throughout the year, the beef group will work to get the health message across to consumers.
“We'll continue to emphasize in our advertising the positive nutrition profile for beef,” Irion said. “It goes across all our beef cuts. In some advertising, we'll call attention to our 29 lean cuts.”