Beef Industry Fights Off 2001 Troubles
ta indicates that consumer demand for beef in 2001 increased 5.6% over the year before, according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The numbers received a boost from a strong fourth quarter, which saw higher volume, officials said, adding that demand for the fourth quarter marks the 12th quarter out of the past 14 in which consumer purchases for beef have increased. While the latest figures are encouraging, the industry is faced with several challenges in the coming months, including tightening supplies, an uncertain economic outlook and revised export forecasts, the NCBA noted. Beef demand had been declining steadily since the 1980s, and didn't experience a full-year increase until 1999.
Ad Campaign Touts American Lamb
SAN ANTONIO -- For the first time in nearly a decade, a new advertising campaign for American lamb was unveiled as part of a heightened effort by domestic producers to help build awareness and demand for fresh American lamb products. According to officials with the American Lamb Council, the new campaign hopes to show that American lamb is appropriate for any meal occasion, not just for special events or holidays, as perception polls have indicated. The initiative is also designed to boost consumer support of the U.S. lamb industry, which has suffered in recent years at the hands of less-expensive imports, primarily from New Zealand. The ads -- built around the slogan "Meat Lovers Know" -- were developed by Campbell-Mithun, the Chicago-based agency responsible for coining the pork industry's popular "The Other White Meat" tag line. The launch will include retail promotions, outreach to the culinary community, a new Fresh American Lamb seal, and extensive public-relations activities, officials said.
Seafood Group Launches Updated Web Site
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The National Fisheries Institute has launched an expanded and enhanced Web site, www.nfi.org. The new site includes comprehensive public and industry information such as news releases, species fact sheets, a seafood glossary, a calendar and news updates, as well as the Buyer's Guide directory of seafood suppliers. A password-protected, members-only section features business-related information on issues ranging from labeling and processing regulations to advocacy and marketing advice. The site was developed by Elemental Freedom and NFI partner Foodconnex Worldwide.
Sam's Club Adopts Container Standard
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Sam's Club has asked its produce suppliers to begin shipping in new corrugated containers meeting the Fibre Box Association Common Footprint Standard. The change applies to shipments of apples and pears, citrus, tomatoes and peppers, summer fruit, melons and mushrooms. Suppliers will pack in half- or full-size Corrugated Common Footprint containers, depending on the commodity. The change is expected to help improve product integrity, reduce shrink, increase distribution-center productivity and reduce labor costs, according to Bob DiPiazza, Sam's Club vice president, perishables. The retailer's suppliers have already confirmed individual item pack counts and box configurations, and have developed completely new box graphics, he said. Buyers reviewed mock-ups of finished designs last November.
Report Tracks Growth of Vegetarianism
CHICAGO -- The market for vegetarian foods will likely grow over the next five years at a rate approaching 125%, according to Mintel Consumer Intelligence, a market research firm. The aging of a significant portion of the American populace -- and a corresponding concern about health -- are among the top reasons behind the increase, according to researchers. They noted that while only 2.5% of American consumers consider themselves full-time vegetarians, roughly 25% of consumers replace meat with a protein substitute at least for some meals and, therefore, are key category drivers. Looking at particular products, the report cited refrigerated soy milk as the one likely to lead the future growth of the overall vegetarian category.