The Beef Checkoff says it continues to invest in retailer educational efforts. Some of the ways the group is reaching out to meat-department representatives, owners and butchers include:
• Training meat department representatives and operators in everything from beef nutrition to retail cutting; and offering on-farm tours that teach them firsthand about modern beef and veal production—so they can answer their customers’ questions.
• Training manuals and assistance for managers and butchers in organizing meat cases so that it is easy for consumers to find what they are looking for—even if they don’t know what that is.
• Training grocery-store operators about the latest and greatest beef cuts, including how to cut, present and showcase them to increase sales.
• Providing on-pack labels that include cooking information, recipe ideas and preparation instructions.
• Offering in-person presentations to grocery-store operators and employees to identify opportunities for them to grow their beef businesses and supplying proven, effective merchandising tools and meat-case solutions that move more beef.
When it comes to training for retailers, the Checkoff also hosts Beef U, the online beef training “university,” which is being updated with a more interactive platform and improved modules that grocery store operators can use for additional education about beef. The modules include: The Modern Consumer; Raising Beef; Nutrition & Health; and Beef Basics and Cuts. This new platform adds more interactive capabilities, such as private communities for conversation based on topics, user profiles that list social media properties and interactive modules and quizzes.
“Retailers are the point of contact for most consumers. So, we have encouraged retailers to understand the process from farm to a marketable product,” said Kristina McKee, owner of Mid-South Livestock Center in Unionville, Tennessee. “We want to educate them to answer consumers’ questions about the cuts in the meat case. We can also address how to display beef and train employees to better interact with consumers. That way, a customer might think, ‘I’ll try this because I had a good conversation with my butcher today.’”
Additional retail merchandising and education resources designed to help operators and their employees stimulate beef sales and build long-term beef demand can be found here.