Record year for world’s largest beef brand

Beef Central, 09/01/2013


Certified Angus Beef, the oldest and largest branded beef program in the US beef industry, continues to buck the broader industry trends posting another record trading result in 2012.

Despite reduced cattle numbers and record high beef prices across the US, Certified Angus Beef reported record sales for a sixth consecutive fiscal year.

The program engaged with more than 16,000 licensed CAB partners around the world, allowing them to capitalise on the consistent dining experience the brand brought to consumers as prices for all beef continued higher, CAB said in a statement.

Last year saw total sales volume of CAB of 368,000 tonnes, beating the previous year’s record by 1800t. The volume was up 49 percent from six years ago.

During that period, characterised by a challenging consumer environment, CAB sales grew from representing 5.6pc to more than 9.6pc of all US federally-inspected cattle harvested, CAB said.

The brand worldwide generates an estimated $4 billion in annual consumer sales.

“The continued growth speaks to brand partners’ commitment to provide and serve the highest quality Angus beef available, and attests to increasing consumer demand for premium products,” CAB president John Stika said.

CAB’s foodservice and international divisions led the growth in sales volume. Across all areas of the business, partners with the greatest success did so by using innovation, creativity and targeted promotions, CAB reported.

Overall monthly sales hit all-time highs in March, August and June, with the most growth seen in clod sales from the chuck and in grind beef.

Foodservice sales, which were 32pc of total CAB business volume, grew more than any other area at 4pc, the company said, setting an annual record of 118,000t. This came mainly from end meats and grinds, up 2700t and 4500t respectively. Direct sales to licensed restaurants climbed 16pc.

The retail segment sales declined 2pc last year, but the division finished strong, with summer grilling months among the highest ever for sales volume, CAB reported.

“Partners with the most sales tended to have the most brand features in their advertising circulars,” CAB said. “Of the top 25 CAB licensed retailers, those with increased sales also had an average of 10pc more front page ads compared to 2011 and placed 47pc more brand ads overall.”


Export, value-added sales set records

International sales of CAB branded beef rose 4pc to 43,000t, with consignments to 55 countries. Canada and Mexico remained the strongest ‘foreign’ markets and the brand was introduced during the year into Colombia, Peru and Chile.

The return to record-setting international sales was particularly notable, as the figure finally moved past the global US beef sales benchmark set ten years ago, prior to the discovery of BSE in the US, CAB said.

The program’s value-added products division also set a sales record last year, reaching 9800t, a full 10pc higher than its 2011 record.

A total of 3.24 million cattle were accepted for the CAB program last year, down 320,000 head from 2011, but still the third largest number to qualify in any year. The key to sales records despite lower cattle supplies came from the increase in carcase weight. This utilisation increased 10pc from 2011, CAB said.

  • Australia also operates a program loosely modelled on CAB. Certified Australian Angus Beef, which sets higher bred content standards than its US equivalent, is also regarded as the largest brand program in Australia, accounting for more than 100,000 cattle each year.


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