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Agricultural News

BAM Can Help Deliver What Many Consumers Want in Portion Size of Beef

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 05:27:29 CST

BAM Can Help Deliver What Many Consumers Want in Portion Size of Beef

State beef councils are joining with the national Beef Checkoff Program in support of a new retail beef marketing program that has the potential to significantly increase U.S. beef sales. The checkoff-funded program, called Beef Alternative Marketing (BAM), has identified innovative cutting techniques and marketing strategies for securing beef purchases from shoppers who previously looked elsewhere for nutritious, high-quality, size-appropriate proteins.

State beef councils are a key component of the campaign to help enhance the value of the program with retailers. Becky Walth is a beef producer from South Dakota who is a Walth is a regional vice president in the Federation of State Beef Councils and sits on the 20-member Beef Promotion Operating Committee representing the Federation. She visits with us about the "BAM" program on today's Beef Buzz. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear her comments on BAM.

"BAM meets the ever-changing needs of the consumer," says Walth, who with her husband Allen farms and raises cattle in North-Central South Dakota. "With prices increasing, a slumping economy, and more attention being paid to nutrition, these cuts can definitely attract a new customer base. Our beef carcasses are getting larger, and these smaller cuts can fit into a tight budget. And the nutrient profile meets government guidelines for lean. This will definitely help increase demand."

Heather Buckmaster, executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council (OBC), agrees. "BAM really helps consumers identify cuts they might not have purchased otherwise," according to Buckmaster. "They were looking for smaller portions, and that is what the program does for them."

OBC assisted in another aspect of the program: determining its potential profitability for retailers and cattlemen and women who fund the program. Buckmaster and her staff helped coordinate a test of the program at the Homeland Grocery chain in Oklahoma. That test showed beef sales growth of nearly $34,000 during a 14-week trial, with some stores selling as many as 863 pounds of BAM products.

According to Buckmaster, the test with Homeland helped demonstrate the value of the Federation of State Beef Councils and the partnership between national and state interests in the Beef Checkoff Program. "The program required the participation of a retailer who is willing to try new things, so we (OBC) were able to come in and provide additional dollars to the program when it was first launched," Buckmaster says. "You have to have the right opportunity and the right retailer, and we had those ingredients in Oklahoma."

According to Jim Henger, executive director of channel marketing for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, BAM is a perfect product for the times because it allows retailers to offer a product that has a new nutritional selling point, is sized to increase sales and retains the cooking quality of larger steaks. Focus groups have shown that consumers not only like the new shapes and thicknesses of the cuts, they are not concerned about higher per-pound costs because there is a lower price per package.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the listen bar below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Becky Walth about BAM
right-click to download mp3


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