Levies Build Grass-Fed Beef In Taiwan

NEW ZEALAND - This year’s beef promotion activities in Taiwan are focused on building and defending market position against strong competition from Australia and the United States, says Meat & Wool New Zealand General Manager Market Development, Craig Finch.
calendar icon 30 March 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

“In 2008 we launched a New Zealand grass-fed brand in Taiwan to increase the presence of New Zealand beef at retail. This year we will invest farmer levies in initiatives that build the brand.”

Mr Finch says Taiwanese beef consumption is small – just 4.6 kg per person per year compared to New Zealanders’ annual consumption of around 31 kg per year.

“Consumers are also faced with choices over the source of their beef. With Australia and the United States having the largest presence in the market, consumers have become accustomed to grain-fed beef, and they have entrenched perceptions that the marbled appearance of grain-fed beef signals that the meat is juicy and tender.”

The grass-fed brand with the slogan ‘your lean and tender choice bred in nature’s pastures aims to differentiate New Zealand product from grain-fed beef, and connect with consumers.

With Taiwan further easing its restrictions on US Beef in November 2009 to allow bone-in product Meat & Wool New Zealand developed and distributed posters to Taiwanese importers and retailers of New Zealand beef, to let Taiwanese consumers know that New Zealand beef is available where the posters are shown, and to reinforce that New Zealand beef is grass-fed, natural, safe and healthy.

“Our messages are based around the clean, green natural environment that New Zealand beef is raised in. We emphasise that cattle are free ranging and eat their natural diet of grass, and that the product is safe. The health and nutritional benefits of grass-fed production are another important message, as there is increasing recognition in the market that marbling in grain-fed beef also signals high fat content.”

Joint promotions with selected restaurants are planned to build recognition of the New Zealand grass-fed beef brand and enhance consumers’ awareness of New Zealand beef.

“Several retailer partners have joined with Meat & Wool New Zealand since the launch of the brand to promote New Zealand beef directly to consumers. Past promotions have boosted the sale of New Zealand beef, so we’ll be holding more retail promotions in the coming year. We’ll engage with consumers at point of purchase with in-store tasting demonstrations, and support these promotions with direct mail advertising.”

Mr Finch says New Zealand beef cooking demonstrations will be offered to consumers to support retail promotions and educate consumers about the product’s characteristics, benefits and preparation methods.

“This is a strategy that has worked well in other markets, by enabling us to connect directly with consumers and influence their future purchase choices.

“Another initiative we’re continuing is sponsoring the delivery trucks of local importers, which helps increase the visibility of New Zealand grass-fed beef. Before we began doing this, the vast majority of importers’ delivery trucks advertised United States product.”

While Meat & Wool New Zealand is focused on diversifying into retail, Mr Finch says the food service sector is a large part of the market in Taiwan and this sector must continue to be supported.

“We will continue using educational seminars to build awareness of New Zealand grass-fed beef and its benefits with the trade. These seminars target chefs and key decision makers in hotels and restaurants, and the chefs of the future with the inclusion of hospitality college students.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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