From fresh cuts to easy meal solutions, beef is the top choice among consumers in grocery stores. Retailers realize it’s the focal point of their meat offerings, and they are appealing to customers with easy and satisfying family meals; innovative cuts for on-trend millennials; and the Certified Angus Beef brand Prime for special occasion dinners. To recognize these efforts, the Certified Angus Beef brand honored retailers in the United States and beyond at its annual conference, held Sept. 23-25, in Asheville, N.C. The brand’s meat processor, distributor, chef, retailer and cattle rancher partners gathered to explore merchandising and marketing solutions for delivering the branded beef to consumers worldwide.
“Our retail partners really enhanced their offerings, adding Certified Angus Beef brand Prime, as well as ground beef and burgers, in stores,” said David O’Diam, VP of retail for the brand. “Quality-minded grocers and their customers trust the brand because of its assured quality across the meat case, deli, to-go meals and frozen foods, giving consumers the ultimate choice of meal solutions for their families and special occasions.”
Food City, based in Abingdon, Va., was recognized as the Retailer of the Year by the Certified Angus Beef brand for leadership in product quality, marketing and sales.
Food City has set the bar on quality and service in the region by offering the Certified Angus Beef brand for 20 years and by having trained butchers in stores to cut the meat, wait on customers, help choose a cut and share preparation tips. Food City introduced Certified Angus Beef brand Prime in stores this year, giving customers the selection of top-quality beef.
Promotions for Father’s Day, summer grilling and holiday roasting drew customers to the meat case. Additionally, weekly circulars and in-store signage shared information about the brand’s quality, which is well-received by customers.
“Customers understand the difference, and it’s driven by the people in our stores,” said Dan Glei, EVP of marketing and merchandising. “Our commitment to having a strong, highly trained butcher in the store makes all the difference.”
Steve Smith, president and CEO, said Food City’s growth is based on supplying great quality products that customers trust. “The Certified Angus Beef brand plays right into that sweet spot for us because really center of the plate is so important to our customers.”
Meijer Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., was recognized with the Retail Marketer of the Year—Large Chain and Retail Value-Added Products Marketer of the Year awards.
Meijer excelled in marketing both fresh and time-saving meal solutions for customers. The marketing award for a large retail chain recognized Meijer’s expertise in offering customers a wide selection of Certified Angus Beef brand cuts and ground beef, as well as Certified Angus Beef brand Prime for the ultimate selection of top-quality beef. Meijer regularly promoted the products in advertising and the weekly circular. The branded beef also was served at the Grand Taste of the Meijer LPGA Classic.
Looking at time-saving meal solutions for the value-added products award, Meijer introduced Certified Angus Beef brand Wahlburgers at Home and Ebel’s summer sausage in stores. Deli meats, marinated cuts and frozen burgers also were featured in shopper promotions. Meijer team trainings helped staff assist customers with product selections. The company’s coordinated efforts in marketing and training also strengthened Meijer’s share of the premium beef market, guiding the company to earn the Top Sales Volume Large Chain Retailer and Top Retail Sales Volume Increase awards.
Trig’s, Minocqua, Wis., was recognized with the Retail Marketer of the Year—Small Chain award.
Though located in a tourist destination, Trig’s stores cater to residents all year by offering top-quality meats, such as the Certified Angus Beef brand and now Certified Angus Beef brand Prime. Stores also introduced bistro burger selections this summer too for the start of backyard grilling. The branded beef products were promoted in social media, advertising, radio and store signage, so customers from near and far recognize the brand by logo and understand its quality.
“They want quality products, just like the Certified Angus Beef brand,” said Trig Solberg, founder and chairman of the board. “So if they come in today, they come in tomorrow, they come in a month from now, they know they’ll get the same quality every time.”
Training is the foundation of the team’s success in building rapport with customers. This year, the meat team journeyed to a local Angus farm to understand the brand’s dedication to quality from the start: family farms.
“We want our associates to be very confident and comfortable with what they’re selling and know they’re selling the highest-quality products,” said Troy Shuelke, meat and seafood director of operations. “Training from the Certified Angus Beef brand has definitely helped our meat managers become consultants for customers. It gives them the confidence to be out there with our guests when they have a question.”
Lou’s Thrifty-Way Market, Norfolk, Neb., was recognized as the Independent Retail Marketer of the Year.
Lou’s Thrifty-Way Market is one store with a mighty meat presence. The meat department, where the Certified Angus Beef brand is featured weekly, is key to its success. Signature beef cuts at the store include Lou’s Lunker tomahawk and T-bone steaks. TVs in stores and ongoing promotions share information about the branded beef with customers.
Schnuck Markets, St. Louis, was recognized with the Retail Rising Star—Large Chain award.
Established in 1939, Schnuck Markets is a hometown market, which has been offering the Certified Angus Beef brand for nearly 25 years. The grocer distinguishes itself from competitors with in-house butchers and by centering the meat case on the branded beef’s tenderness and flavor. Extensive promotions, including front-page features on the weekly circular, in-store signage and trained meat staff, elevated the grocer’s success with the brand and guided customers to understand its signature quality.
“It really provides our guests, our customers, with the best shopping experience and to really have that one-on-one personalization and engagement,” said Dan Sweet, Schnuck’s meat and seafood merchandiser. “It’s knowing our meat team by name when they walk into our stores and requesting a Certified Angus Beef brand specialty cut.”
Strack & Van Til, Highland, Ind., was recognized as the Retail Rising Star—Small Chain.
Strack & Van Til added Certified Angus Beef brand Prime and ground beef in stores, giving customers a wide selection of quality. The branded beef was featured regularly on the circular’s front page and social media. Team training helped managers introduce the new products to customers.
La Michoacana Meat Market, Houston, was recognized with the Retail Rookie of the Year award.
La Michoacana centers its meat department on the Certified Angus Beef brand’s signature quality. The grocer features the brand for all taco meat and in-store carnicerita. To let customers know about the beef’s quality, La Michoacana created a video podcast to empower employees to share information with shoppers. The brand was promoted on store signage, in social media and advertising, and at its Feria Del Taco events to secure a remarkable first year with the branded beef in its meat cases.
Georgia Main Food Group, Burnaby, British Columbia, was recognized as the International Retail (Chain) Marketer of the Year.
Through its focus on offering top-quality meats to customers, the Georgia Main Food Group featured the Certified Angus Beef brand in more than 36 weekly front-page ads this year, namely at Fresh St. Market and IGA locations. The grocery company gave shoppers more reasons to come into stores for great-tasting beef and meal ideas with year-round promotions, including a sizzling summer beef campaign and meat thermometer giveaway during roasting season.
Additionally, these retailers and distributors were recognized for leading Certified Angus Beef brand product sales for the year:
- DeMoulas Market Basket, Tewksbury, Mass. — Top Retail Average Volume Per Store, more than 10 stores
- Crest Foods, Edmond, Okla. – Top Retail Average Volume Per Store, less than 10 stores
- Cermak Fresh Market, Chicago – Top Sales Volume Small Chain Retailer
- Dekalb Farmers Market, Decatur, Ga. – Top Sales Volume Single Store Retailer
- Amigos Foods, Chicago – Top Sales Volume Retail Distributor
- TOPCO Associates Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill. – Top Sales Volume Cooperative