May Federation of State Beef Councils
12 NATIONAL CATTLEMEN T H E www.BeefUSA.org F E D E R A T I O N O F STATE BEEF COUNCILS Building beef demand by inspiring, unifying and supporting an effective state/national checkoff partnership. Utah Beef Council Focuses on Partnerships to Extend Beef Message The Utah Beef Council (UBC) is focusing on partnerships in 2014 as an important part of its beef promotion efforts. UBC believes by partnering with trusted third party experts, beef ’s message will have a greater reach and impact in Utah. One of UBC’s key partners is Chef Bryan Woolley. Woolley has been a professional chef for nearly two decades. He can be seen daily on CBS television and also hosts a weekly television show called “Cooking with Chef Bryan.” He is the longest running television chef on air today in the United States. The UBC participates as one of the show sponsors and provides guests to join Chef Bryan on his weekly cooking show throughout the year. Through the beef checkoff, Woolley participated in a beef industry chef ’s tour. This gave him valuable insights to how the beef industry operates. He has become a strong champion for the beef industry and beef ranchers. Bryan has the ability to reach a wide audience and is a trusted third-party source for beef information. The UBC participates with Chef Bryan at other events and periodically on his “What’s for Dinner” segment on a local afternoon television news station. UBC also has partnered with Jennifer Burns, another local cooking personality. Burns hosts a lunchtime café segment on Utah’s local Fox station. UBC sponsors a weekly café segment featuring beef. UBC staff and other guests periodically join Burns to help highlight great-tasting beef. In conjunction with this promotion, the organization has helped produce television commercials that showcase beef as the ideal food for all seasons. Online and digital advertising have been included to augment the cooking segments and commercials. Using partnerships to extend the beef message has enabled the UBC to comfortably reach out to consumers through credible sources. UBC’s Jacob Schmidt (left) with Chef Bryan Woolley. Utah Beef Council Details: Founded: 1969 Board of Directors: 9 (elected), representing dairy industry, Utah CattleWomen’s Association and the Utah Cattlemen’s Association. State Councils Capitalize on Booming Burger Trend Digital Efforts Burger popularity is booming, and many state beef councils are taking advantage of that popularity with contests that highlight the best restaurant burgers in their states. Iowa and Nebraska beef councils, for instance, have just completed successful contests in their states, showcasing mouthwatering burgers prepared by state restaurants – significantly boosting demand for burgers in the process. Iowa Beef Industry Council In Iowa, the fifth annual Best Burger Contest exceeded expectations, attracting 9,636 nominations for 456 restaurants. The nomination total was a 50 percent increase over 2013. In the first year of the contest (2009), fewer than 1,000 nominations were received for 60 restaurants. For the contest, consumers were encouraged to nominate their favorite burger and restaurant from Feb. 12 to March 17. They could enter online; print an online form and mail it in; or text their favorite to the IBIC. The 10 leading restaurants became the finalists, with a panel of anonymous “burger lovers” charged with visiting the finalists and selecting the best burger on taste, doneness, and appearance and presentation. “The restaurants really are seeing the value of making it into the top 10,” said Michelle Baumhover, IBIC director of consumer marketing. Winner for 2014, announced May 1, was the Brick City Grill in Ames, Iowa, which has been in business for less than a year. Among the comments from judges about the restaurant’s burger was, “a winner all the way around.” “What we like about the program is that we’re engaging with a partner,” says Baumhover. “They’re taking our great product and serving it in a great way to a customer. “The program does what we want it to do,” she says, “and that is to drive beef sales.” Online nominations were accepted March 1 to March 15 at the NBC website or through its Facebook page. Burgers from the top five restaurants were announced March 15, with a panel of judges evaluating the top five. The judges totals and online votes from March 15 through March 31 determined the winner. Whereas in the past a previous winner was precluded from winning, this year NBC opened it up to everyone. More than 200 restaurants were nominated in 2014. Stella’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue, Neb., recaptured the “Best Burger” title this year. Stella’s also won the title in 2012. “This contest is really about showing off the great tasting beef served all across Nebraska,” says Adam Wegner, NBC director of marketing. “Stella’s quickly surfaced to the top once again with tremendous support from the online votes and rave reviews from our panel of judges. It’s obvious they have a passion for great tasting beef and their hamburgers have created a loyal fan base.” NBC is also featuring Stella’s in May as part of Nebraska Beef Month. Other States with Burger Promotions Nebraska Beef Council Nebraska’s contest, which just completed its fourth year, is similar in structure. Mississippi Beef Council New York Beef Council Pennsylvania Beef Council South Carolina Beef Council Tennessee Beef Industry Council Utah Beef Council Wisconsin Beef Council Underway State beef councils are joining with the national Integrated Communications Team in converting the beef checkoff promotion campaign from traditional print and radio advertising to a new digital marketing platform. The strategy, desi gned to reach millennial beef eaters, combines demographic data with consumer research to develop communications that will effect perceptual and behavioral changes. An example of the cooperative state/ national effort is the Digital MINK project, which targets consumers in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Started in April, it will continue through May, helping consumers get answers to questions they have about what’s best for dinner when they search Google. It does this by focusing on words used by the consumers, such as dinner, easy meals or grilling. Consumers looking for the information on their home computer, tablet or mobile device will get recipes, photographs or information on what beef cuts to purchase. “Sixty percent of consumers decide what their evening meal will be after 4:30 in the afternoon,” says Michele Peterson Murray, NCBA senior executive director of Integrated Communications. “We need to provide the information in the forms consumers are looking for it today – and do it effectively. These kinds of state/national partnerships will be important as we implement the digital marketing strategy.” Look for more detailed information on the digital strategy and state beef council involvement in digital programs in the June issue of National Cattlemen.