The American Lamb Board FY 2011 annual report
Dear Fans of Lamb, 2011 has been a tremendous year to be a part of this great industry. Lamb market prices are the best we’ve seen in the last 20 years, and the top two national retailers, Kroger and Wal-Mart, have more American Lamb in their cases to sell to our consumers than ever before. We are also finding— through research around the country— how important the nontraditional market is becoming as a major player in the lamb industry. This new trend translates to the sale of one to two million of our American lambs annually—whether that means selling American Lamb at a local farmers’ market, selling freezer lambs from your farms, or selling to the ethnic consumers who really know freshtasting American Lamb is perfect for their holiday or special occasions. I would like to thank all of the men and women who were nominated and volunteered their time and knowledge to serve on the American Lamb Board in celebrating 10 years of service to the American Lamb industry. Starting with those sheep industry leaders who worked to develop common ground for a national checkoff board and those first 13 members who
were appointed to start a board that would promote, market and research American Lamb, so many people have been instrumental in our growth. From our great staff in Denver and our contractors who help the board in developing programs, to our board members who put in countless hours throughout the year and the many producers, first handlers and feeders who are so passionate about what they do, these folks truly show so much pride and joy in promoting American Lamb—it’s no wonder American Lamb is moving up the ladder.
American Lamb enjoyed another great year in 2011, thanks to EWE! This annual report offers the year’s highlights, demonstrating how the American Lamb Board is supporting industry research, keeping lamb top of mind for chefs, retailers, consumers and the media through innovative programs and campaigns, and looking to the future for a more sustainable and profitable American Lamb industry. >>>>>>>>
After 10 years of working to get the word out about American Lamb, the American Lamb Board is looking to the future. With a new strategic plan in place for the next five years, our focus is on sustainability, profitability and growth for the industry—and the future has never looked brighter. Please take some time to tune in to what your American Lamb Board has been up to lately. Whether we’re converting lamb lovers with the popular nationwide Lamb Jam Tour or telling the pasture to plate story with the exciting Shepherd to Chef campaign, you’ll see we’re working to make you proud.
Nick Forrest, Chairman
American Lamb Board Mission To increase the value of American Lamb for all segments contributing to the American Lamb Checkoff Program.
Who is your American Lamb Board? We are a 13-member board appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture representing all sectors of the industry and all geographic regions.
Industry Service and Commitment Lamb feeders, producers, seedstock producers and packers who volunteer their service on the American Lamb Board are committed to serving the interests of all the American Lamb segments who fund the Lamb Checkoff. The Board is working hard to invest the checkoff dollars into programs that will increase the demand for American Lamb and increase the industry’s opportunity for profit.
Lamb Board members are nominated by fellow producers, feeders or packers from their respective industry sector. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appoints the industry members from those nominations, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees the Board. The American Lamb Board nominates and elects their officers. Each Board Member serves a three-year term and does so without compensation. American Lamb Board members currently serve from 12 different states and represent all industry sectors—producers, feeders, seedstock producers and first handlers or packers. Producer Board Members Nick Forrest, OH, Chairman Alicia Dredge, ID Stan Potratz, IA Betty Sampsel, MT Leo Tammi, VA David Trotter, IN
Feeder Board Members Richard Drake, CO Dan Lippert, MN Pat Tirrell, IN Seedstock Producer Members Laurie Hubbard, PA
First Handler/ Packer Members Reed Anderson, Anderson Ranches, OR Cody Heimke, Niman Ranch, WI Dennis Stiffler, MS Rosen, NYC
ALB BUDGET SUMMARY
The Lamb Checkoff Program is financed by a live weight assessment of $.005 per pound paid by the seller of the sheep or lamb and a first handler assessment of $.30 per head assessment paid by the entity who owns the sheep or lambs at the time of slaughter. The Board’s expenditures for administration are limited to 10 percent or less of projected revenues—all remaining revenues are expended on programs related to promotion, research and information for the lamb industry. For copies of the complete audited financial report, visit lambcheckoff.com. Total Budget: $2,104,123 Promotion: $1,503,769 Communications: $254,216 Research: $90,700 Administration: $170,514 USDA Oversight: $84,924
The American Lamb Board knows research is a key ingredient for growing the industry. A June 2011 ALBsponsored study of fine dining, chain and independent operators revealed some fascinating lamb facts: • Lamb is consistently found on fine dining menus. • Lamb is most often featured as an entrée item thanks to its bold flavor. • Lamb used as an appetizer is becoming increasingly common. • Although rack of lamb, chops and shanks are still the most common cuts featured on menus, other cuts are showing up more and more. Another study, a survey of fine dining and hotel chefs’ attitudes about lamb, proved that domestic lamb is perceived as fresher, more tender and more sustainably produced than imported lamb. Our FY 2011 Foodservice program focused on seven areas: Trade media relations • Online trade media advertising and videos • Marketing and communication tools • Culinary education • Chef and culinary events • Foodservice research, planning and support • Home Ec services and recipe/image database •
The American Lamb Board works hard to educate retailers about American Lamb, encouraging sales and offering support with point of sales materials and enticing promotions. These efforts have paid off: the last couple of years have shown an increase in the variety of cuts stocked at retail, the number of meat cases that sell lamb, and the number of retailers that offer American Lamb. Wal-Mart and Kroger contributed to the trend in 2011 by committing to domestic lamb programs. Did you know? • The Northeast garners the highest lamb sales in the U.S., followed by California and the Southeast. • The top-selling cuts at retail are: 1) shoulder; 2) leg; 3) loin. • The last five years have seen sales of ground lamb increasing steadily. Retail highlights: ALB created a retail toolkit— conveniently packaged on a flash drive—that included a fabrication video; merchandising tips; fact sheets; information on nutrition, grading and inspection; and more. • ALB funded customized retail programs in four target markets: Seattle, Boston, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. • ALB reached more than 25,000 retailers with a full-page ad and article in Grocery Headquarters. •
Foodservice highlights: FY 2011 saw more than $250,000 in foodservice trade publicity generated. • American Lamb online recipes, videos and advertisements reached more than 65,000 foodservice operators. • Marketing tools from posters to recipe books to CD-ROMs are available to help spread the message about American Lamb. • Quarterly American Lamb e-newsletters were sent to more than 8,500 culinary educators and chefs. • American Lamb culinary education materials have been distributed to hundreds of culinary schools nationwide. • The American Lamb Board communicated directly with more than 10,000 caterers and chefs at various events in FY 2011. •
lean on lamb
Since 2007, the Tri-Lamb Nutrition Working Group has collaboratively supported the “Lean on Lamb” strategic nutrition communications program. For four years, the nutritional benefits of lamb have been the communication platform of this program and nutrition thought leaders have been the primary audience. In 2011, this program has continued to focus on nutrition education with a primary goal of increasing consumer awareness and familiarity with lamb as a healthy protein through a Supper Club (easy, healthy entertaining) theme. The program has targeted bloggers in three markets (Boston, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles) to host seasonal Supper Club parties with different cuts of lamb. The seasonal Supper Club kits are also being sent to national and local media.
The popular Lamb Jam tour enjoyed its second run in FY 2011 and featured stops in Seattle, Boston, Washington, DC, San Francisco and an exciting finale in New York City. Lamb Jam is a fun-filled event that highlights local producers and chefs; attendees enjoy tasty lamb samples, live music, local wine and beer tastings and lamb-themed activities— positioning lamb as approachable and converting lamb lovers across the country. Participating chefs compete for top honors in four cut categories and also for a people’s choice award, and winners go on to compete in the New York City finale. An event that’s popular among fans of lamb, chefs and producers alike, Lamb Jam is a great platform for showcasing the versatility of lamb. Tour highlight totals: • Number of tour attendees: 2,725
Revenue generated from ticket sales: $65,000
Number of participating chefs: 72
Revenue generated in cash sponsorships: $30,000
SEASONAL CAMPAIGNS |
a full calendar
The American Lamb Board wants to keep American Lamb top of mind for consumers year-round! Here are some of the inventive ways we do it.
Lamb is for
Lamb Lovers Month What better time than February to share the lamb love? Lamb lovers submitted their favorite lamb recipes for a chance to win the Recipe for Romance contest. Jennifer Daskevich’s Cocoa Rubbed Lamb Chops with Basil Fig Port-Wine Reduction Sauce came out on top. LambLoversMonth.com was the perfect platform to promote the contest and to offer lamb trivia, videos from Chef Tim Love and special lamb recipes perfect for serving to loved ones. The ALB’s Lamb Lovers Month radio release was broadcast 221 times in 36 states with an audience of more than 28 million. spring holidays The ALB developed and distributed a full-page feature on American Lamb for the spring holidays that generated 313 print placements and 545 online placements, reaching more than 25 million people total.
Get Your Grill On ALB celebrated summer by hosting a live, two-hour Twitter chat with grilling expert and Hill Country chef Elizabeth Karmel. Nearly 300 consumers engaged with Elizabeth via 1,398 tweets (more than 10 million impressions!) to get the scoop on her favorite lamb tips and techniques. celebrate the Holidays with American Lamb ALB encouraged consumers to celebrate the season with American Lamb by distributing a release that included holiday entertaining tips and recipes; it generated 284 news articles in 22 different states with a readership of more than 7 million. The ALB’s annual holiday recipe contest drew a record-breaking number of submissions, but none could compare to Terri Crandall’s Rack of Lamb with Cranberry-Gorgonzola rec Butter and Cranberry con ipe tes t Glaze. Crandall’s love of lamb was obvious in her mouthwatering, modern spin on a classic holiday rack of lamb.
And just in time for the holidays, ALB distributed a recipe release from lambassadors Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow. The chefs offered up a simple Mediterraneaninspired meatball recipe with a classic tomato dipping sauce—just right for holiday entertaining.
spreading the word
One of the American Lamb Board’s most important missions is to get the word out to local and national media about American Lamb. Through media outreach, pitching and interviews, press and recipe releases, and more, in FY 2011 ALB reached more than 1 billion current and potential lamb lovers! Here’s how ALB did it: Through features in popular print outlets such as Good Housekeeping, Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, and the New York Daily News. • The American Lamb Board hosted media events in the local target markets featuring local shepherds and chefs. • ALB sent the top 30 food editors a holiday care package that included a crown roast of lamb and media materials. • ALB invited local food writers and bloggers to judge the Lamb Jam events. • ALB distributed more than 20 releases throughout the year on the national PR newswire.
More than 20,000 consumers participated in events in FY 2011 in which the American Lamb Board took part, such as: • NYC Food and Wine Festival (October 2010)* *”The American Lamb Burger” won second place at the Rachel Ray Burger Bash! • Taste of Vail (April 2011) • Atlanta Food and Wine Festival (May 2011) • Meatopia, NYC (August 2011)
online marketing CONSUMER RESEARCH
In FY 2011, the American Lamb Board funded two studies to evaluate how consumers perceive American Lamb. The first study’s goal was to gain a better understanding of ethnic consumers’ lamb needs and purchasing behavior. This growing consumer group purchases about 58 percent of the lamb available in the U.S. today. Key information provided by the study includes: • The socio-demographic characteristics of ethnic consumers who purchase lamb. • How, where and why they buy lamb, plus other factors that influence their purchasing behavior. • Their perceptions of domestic vs. imported lamb. Please visit lambcheckoff.com to see the full report. The second study, on consumer usage and attitudes, looked at men and women between the ages of 21 and 74 to find out how U.S. households perceive lamb. Key findings include: The primary barriers to purchasing lamb are price and the consumer’s feeling that they don’t know how to prepare it. • Nearly half of the respondents had never tried lamb. • Compared to a similar study in 2006, more people are likely to purchase lamb today and are significantly more likely to ask their butcher for American Lamb. • Respondents were most aware of leg, rack and loin chops. •
working the web
Social marketing and online advertising help us reach new fans and keep in touch with lamb lovers throughout the year. • ALB won 636 new Facebook fans in FY 2011 and now has almost 2,000 followers on Twitter, up by more than 400 since last year. • ALB worked with Google to increase traffic to our website, nearly doubling our monthly site visits! • The total number of visits to americanlamb.com was 57,000 for the year. • The American Lamb Board partnered with Tasting Table National to sponsor website banner ads and four e-newsletter ads, reaching nearly a million Tasting Table subscribers. A New Look Online Americanlamb.com and fansoflamb.com have been revamped! Some highlights include: • An updated recipe database that is more searchable and easy to use. • A series of new cooking technique videos. • A new “Our Story” section that promotes the American Lamb story from pasture to plate and highlights the new Shepherd to Chef campaign. • A “Where to Find American Lamb” callout that encourages the direct relationship and sale of lamb from shepherds to chefs to consumers: ALB has set up a database of more than 250 sheep producers who are interested in selling directly to chefs and consumers, and is working to expand and publicize this database. • The new and improved fansoflamb.com is the one-stop shop for lamb lovers. Whether it’s information on our contests, the scoop on upcoming events or how to order lamb SWAG, fansoflamb.com has all the juicy details.
Shepherd to Chef Campaign FY 2011 featured an exciting new campaign that put the spotlight on local lamb producers in ALB’s four target markets. A beautiful brochure brought the pasture to plate story to life: it highlighted the personal stories of each market’s shepherd and chef lambassadors—explaining how their work is intertwined and truly honors the whole animal, and putting a focus on sustainability and the integrity of the industry. Americanlamb.com supported the campaign with recipes and informative videos, along with profiles of each lambassador.
The campaign was kicked off in New York City in February 2011 with a media event for top national food writers and bloggers. The event featured a four-course American Lamb dinner prepared by the chef lambassadors from each market, production stories told by the shepherds and a butchery demonstration. The chefs and shepherds also hosted events in their own markets to celebrate the campaign, where lamb lovers could indulge in the chefs’ delicious American Lamb dishes and learn about local lamb.
COOPERATIVE FUNDING PROGRAMS
The American Lamb Board has two funding programs available to support industry partners and expand the lamb board’s efforts to promote American Lamb: the Supplier Cooperative Funding Program helps fund branded retail or foodservice promotions, and the Industry Matching Grant Program helps fund local promotions such as festivals and cooking demonstrations. FY 2011 Supplier Co-op Project Partnerships American Lamb marketing and promotional materials with Strauss
Lamb Cook-off: Southern Illinois Sheep and Craft Festival with Monroe County Sheep Producers Association
Retail promotion with Lava Lakes Lamb and Mountain States Rosen
Retail point of sale materials, retail contest, chef reception and American Lamb incentive programs with Mountain States Rosen
Lamb Dutch Oven Cooking Demo: Montana Farmers Union Chuck Wagon with the Montana Farmers Union
Lamb Dine Around and Chef Cook-off: Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Idaho
Lamb Sampling: San Francisco Wine Competition Public Tasting with the California Sheep Commission
American Lamb logo visibility: sponsorship for bicycle team throughout Oregon
Lamb Cook-off: South Dakota BBQ Championships with the Kansas City BBQ Society
Lamb Menu Development: Kentucky Lamb Fair and Festival with the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association
Lamb Sampling: Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials with the Meeker Sheepdog Trials Committee
Ohio Lamb Jam: Ohio State Fair with the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association
Utah Lamb Education Trailer: with the Utah Wool Growers Association
Lamb Cooking Demo: Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival with the Waynesburg Prosperous and Beautiful, Inc.
fun meets functional
The American Lamb Board continues to develop and distribute promotional tools to help the industry get the word out about American Lamb. In FY 2011, ALB distributed more than 50,000 recipe brochures and developed a new brochure that includes 12 simple and seasonal American Lamb recipes. Promotional tools include: Cut charts and posters • Stickers and tattoos • Recipe brochures and more •
FY 2011 Matching Grant Project Partnerships
Radio advertising in Boston for Shaw’s grocery stores (recently converted to American Lamb!) with Superior Farms Lamb cooking demo at the Annual Lamb Town Festival with Superior Farms
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