WASHINGTON (FNS) -- With U.S. meat surpluses expected to continue at high levels through the summer, the cattle industry is getting busy trying to enlist retailers and consumers to help it move all that beef.
Under the auspices of the National Cattleman's Association and its marketing arm, the Beef Industry Council, cattlemen are targeting women, 25 to 54 years old, who have been identified as being the primary shoppers in their homes and who are looking for quick, healthy food to feed their families.
In a press conference held here, trade group officials said its consumer studies have unearthed a growing ignorance of how to prepare beef, a sobering fact given the current glut. Beef supplies this summer will reach their highest level since 1977, said the Chicago-based Beef Industry Council. "Today's consumers don't know how to prepare it," said Mary M. Adolf, the council's vice president of advertising and promotion, at the news conference held here last week to discuss the nation's growing beef supplies.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, per capita consumption of meat in 1994 was 63.9 pounds compared with 61.5 pounds in 1993. Yet despite two consecutive years of increased beef consumption, the industry still sees chicken as its major competitor, and it will remain a formidable foe into 1996, BIC representatives added.
In two television commercials running through September and touting the council's three-year slogan, "Beef. It's What's for Dinner," the red meat is being pushed as a quick centerpiece to a healthy dinner that can be prepared in a variety of ways in under 30 minutes. The television ads will be reinforced through ads in women's magazines that include recipes and a mailing of 500,000 "30 Meals in 30 Minutes" recipe books to targeted consumers.
In addition, during the week before July Fourth, more than 13,000 retailers will receive four-color brochures to hand out to customers. The brochures contain recipes and coupons for products, like mustard and aluminum foil, which are used in summer grilling.
The retailers selected for the program participated in a council beef promotion program in January and February, BIC officials said.
"It's a great piece for retailers because it obviously stimulates sales at the meat counter and it stimulates sales in the store," Adolf said.