Oklahoma Beef Council Leverages Funds to Maximize Returns for Beef ProducersThu, 29 Aug 2013 17:29:10 CDT
The beef industry is trying to leverage its marketing successes of the last several decades to the next generation of beef buyers, the Millennials. Heather Buckmaster of the Oklahoma Beef Council recently spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays about their efforts. (You can listen to their extended conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story. Buckmaster will also appear on this weekend's "In the Field" segment on News 9, Saturday about 6:40 a.m.)
"The Millennials are that generation and that group of consumers that were born between 1980 and 2000 and they are a major priority for the Beef Checkoff," Buckmaster said. "They represent one-fourth of the U.S. population, one-third of the adults. They are the consumers of tomorrow and they are influencing the consumers of tomorrow."
She said a tremendous amount of research has been done on them to understand them to be able to grow beef demand.
One of the things research has found is that Millennials are unsure about cooking beef, about how it fits into a healthy lifestyle and proper serving sizes. Buckmaster said there is a tremendous need for education with this group and, unlike their parents' generation which could easily be reached through television, the Millennials are more likely to get their information from social media and the internet.
The anchor of the checkoff program's efforts are its website, beefitswhatsfordinner.com. It's an interactive site that is full of recipes and a virtual meat case like Millennials would see in the grocery store. The Checkoff's Facebook and Twitter platforms are also popular venues as is its YouTube channel.
Another avenue U.S. beef producers are pursuing is the growing export market. Buckmaster said the Oklahoma Beef Council has been focusing more of its resources on its partnership with the U.S. Meat Export Federation. She said the partnership helps them leverage Checkoff dollars that have about 50 percent of the purchasing power they had in 1988.
"We're really working to invest those Checkoff dollars with the USMEF, an area where our dollars can be matched two and three times. We've found it to be a great investment. Exports have been really a shining star for beef demand and for profitability for producers. June was an excellent month for us-the most recent month we have information for. Beef exports for the month jumped eight percent in volume and 21 percent in value over the same time period."
Buckmaster said that the Oklahoma Beef Council has undertaken some very directed research to determine how effective their programs are affecting opinion leaders and consumers.
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.
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