Tag Archives: American Angus Association
It’s everyone’s favorite day of the week: Moosday! This week, we feature the Angus breed. The American Angus Association has done a fantastic job with marketing the Angus name. You can see their latest updates on their Facebook page, Twitter account, television programs, websites, blogs, and much more. Happy Moosday!
by Chris Labbe
It was an exciting and inspiring event and it was certainly a proud moment for all the producers, fabricators, and distributors. The main emphasis of the event wasn’t that Certified Angus Beef (CAB) has had a record setting June with 70 million pounds sold, or that it was a record in the company’s 33 year history, but it was the potential that it is leading to the sixth straight year of increased sales. Is this surprising in an economy we are in? Maybe, but it is a true validation of the brand’s integrity and “staying power” that we see in modern marketing today.
John Stika, president of CAB, gave a recap of the year –to-date successes and I want to share them with you so you get an idea of the year CAB is having;
- CAB is expecting a record year at over 800 million pounds and the fifth consecutive year of sales gains.
- There were 9 of 12 record months this year with June, July and August setting the record highs at over 70 million pounds each.
- Increases in all product categories: middle meats, end meats, ground beef, value-added products.
- Stika pointed to a recent demand index study at Kansas State University that confirms the importance of premium beef in the marketplace. According to the study, demand for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand grew at a rate of 56% from 2002 to 2010 compared to 20% for USDA Choice.
- Demand study shows premium beef advantage: http://www.agrimarketing.com/ss.php?id=69777
CAB is in a continual evolution of brand development and product development. But the overwhelming feeling anyone who attends a CAB conference will tell you is that the Brand is King! Ask anyone outside the beef industry if they have heard of Certified Angus Beef and you will more than likely get a resounding YES. Get past the brand and dive into the reasons for success and you will find that it is not that it is brand placement or savvy marketing, which they also have, but it is the science behind the meat and the education of all the value chain participants. It is also product availability and innovative services.
This year was the inaugural class of Master of Brand Advantages (MBA) which aims to educate chef’s restaurateurs, and waitstaff. During the conference, the brand recognized 19 individuals for completing the inaugural Master of Brand Advantages (MBA) class. Three weeks of hands-on and in-the-field training sessions took foodservice professionals to the ranch, feedlot and packing plant to gain beef quality knowledge. Meat cutting sessions and sales training workshops completed their training.
The class and most of the training will take place in the Certified Angus Beef ® Education and Culinary Center, a state of the art culinary kitchen and meat science lab. This is where classes can start with a fresh carcass, break it down and understand not only the beef carcass but also what makes CAB stand out from all the rest of the branded beef programs.
Most of us in agriculture take education for granted, but what groups like CAB are doing to educate consumers (being chefs and restaurant owners) in a manner such as this is a tremendous asset to us in agriculture because it furthers our goal of educating consumers and helping us create better products.
If you were to go to the CAB conference you would find a broad spectrum of the food supply chain. An event like this with a broad spectrum of people in the food industry provides for a fun, dynamic and interesting time. Literally farm to fork, all those involved were in attendance;
- American Angus Association board of directors,
- Angus commercial and purebred ranchers, stockers, and feeders.
- The packing and fabrication industry
- Specialty meat companies
- Retail and wholesale broadline distributors and specialty meat distributors.
- Restaurant Owners, Executive Chefs, Celebrity Chefs and Sous Chefs.
With a group like this you get some real frank discussion and an understanding of how and where you fit into the Certified Angus Beef story. The event also included informative speakers, (Randy Blach from CattleFax was on hand, and Jude Capper from WSU, neither of which you can go wrong with!) awards and discussion panels from several of the attendees on how their own operations work with customers and the CAB brand.
Chris Labbe is Vice President of Kerr Pacific Corp., a 5th generation family business in the grain and foodservice business. Kerr Pacific Corp. operates HFM FoodService, a wholesale broadline foodservice company across the state of Hawaii, Saipan, and Guam. HFM Foodservice is the sole Certified Angus Beef distributor to the islands. Kerr Pacific also has a joint venture with Milner Milling and operates PFM, LLC with flour mills in Pendleton, Oregon, Blackfoot, Idaho, and Honolulu, HI. As well, his family has a diversified wheat, alfalfa, and commercial Angus cattle operation in Arlington, Oregon. Prior to joining the family business he received his MBA from Willamette University, and prior to that worked for a commodity brokerage firm and then the Montana Stockgrowers and Montana Grain Growers Associations. Chris and his wife Tiffanie are also starting their own operation and have a small broodmare band, and are leasing and buying land to begin their own Angus cow herd. Chris & Tiffanie have worked on ranches throughout the west from Arizona to Montana. They are both graduates of the College of Agriculture at Montana State University with degrees in Animal Science and Agribusiness. They have a small place in White Sulphur Springs, Montana and hope to return to the state in the future. They have two sons, Sam, who is 2, and Dillon, who is 8 weeks old.