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NCBA Introduces Its AI-Powered Virtual Assistant ‘Chuck’ At Conference

NCBA Chuck
Alisa Harrison, Jennifer Houston and Bridget Wasser, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Who knows beef? Chuck Knows Beef.

Chuck Knows Beef, a virtual assistant powered by Google Intelligence, was introduced to retailers at the 2019 Annual Meat Conference held March 3-5 in Dallas, Texas.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston, from Sweetwater, Tennessee, said dollars from the Beef Checkoff program were used to fund Chuck Knows Beef.

“Beef producers across the country are excited that our Checkoff dollars, our self-help dollars, have funded such an exciting program as Chuck,” Houston told The Shelby Report’s Jan Meade at the conference. “It’s cutting-edge and we’re really excited to see what Chuck can do for the beef industry.”

Alisa Harrison, SVP of global marketing for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board, said Chuck ties in with the board’s “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” campaign.

“We launched the ‘Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.’ brand about a year and a half ago because it still resonates today with those Millennials,” Harrison said. “We really upgraded our content, our information, to help consumers cook beef and know about beef and how it’s raised. We’re launching this month Chuck Knows Beef, which is our new artificial intelligence, our digital assistant, that takes all that great content and puts it in the palm of the hands of the consumers at the meat case or in the car or at work as they’re planning their meals.”

Chuck can give consumers recipes, help them learn more about beef and become more confident cooks, Harrison said.

“We want to make it easy for consumers to have that information, so we created Chuck Knows Beef,” she said. “We’re here today to introduce it to the retail community because we think it’s a great tool for retailers to help their consumers understand what cuts to cook and how to cook them, as well as their employees, those people behind the meat counter who may not always know about beef. We’re really excited to introduce it first to retailers at the Annual Meat Conference.”

Houston said Chuck can be used at home over a smart speaker or on a phone when at the store.

“When you’re going to the meat case and there’s something on sale or a cut you don’t recognize, you can ask Chuck right then and he’ll come up with recipes and suggestions for what you can use. We think it’s absolutely right up the alley for our Millennial shoppers, as well as the rest of us,” she said.

Harrison said along with the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” campaign, Chuck Knows Beef is designed to “put a little swagger back into beef,” adding that the male voice and rodeo music tested well with consumers.

“We think we’re the first commodity organization to launch a fully-integrated artificial intelligence digital assistant, that’s powered by Google Intelligence, to the marketplace,” she said. “We’re sure other commodities will follow suit, but we’re really proud we were the first one out on the market.”

Harrison said retailers at the conference were asking how they can use Chuck in their stores.

“That’s exactly why we’re here and why we’re launching it at this event and not somewhere else,” she said.

Houston added that, as beef producers, they look for opportunities to interact with their customers and Chuck allows them to do that.

“Chuck gives us that ability to talk about all the great stories of how we raise and how we care for animals and care for the product we produce,” she said. “Chuck is that bridge between our customers and us.”

Chuck can be accessed at ChuckKnowsBeef.com or by enabling Chuck Knows Beef with Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.

About the author

Lorrie Griffith

An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she's a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.

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