INDUSTRY domestic marketing campaigns this year tapped into that seemingly ingrained value Australians clearly have for beef.
MLA’s big project, launched in July, told consumers “Australian beef is the greatest meat on earth” and used the likes of Aussie greats Olympic gold medallist Liesel Jones, legendary cricket commentator Bill Lawry and actor Kate Ritchie to reinforce that.
The campaign also built in messages of versatility, nutrition, welfare, sustainability and eating quality.
Meanwhile, the growth in demand for grass-fed meat was another major trend to flex its muscle in 2017.
Independent butchers were on the ball.
“Shoppers are super savvy today and although price is a huge driving force behind a purchase, they are more health-conscious, quality and service-driven,” said Paul Taylor from Gold Coast Fresh Meat Centre.
“By selling grass-fed produce here – and at a good price, due to its high demand – we can stay ahead of the supermarket big guns.”
One of the country’s most successful independent butchers, Craig Cook, went as far as to say high quality, grass-fed meat was the only survival point with growth potential for the retailer and smaller scale producer facing a supermarket beef selling juggernaut.
Mr Cook’s 19 butcher shops, most of which operate across Sydney under the Prime Quality Meats and The Natural Butcher name, require more than 8000 steers per annum.
Ninety per cent of his cabinet space goes to red meat, in stark contrast to the rapidly increasing chicken and pork presence in many butcher shops across the nation reeling from supermarket discount policy.
“Because its high in nutrition, low in residue, great for omega oils and fats, it has a story and it is consistently good eating – grass-fed beef is the answer,” he said.
“It also has the potential to deliver more money for each point of the supply chain.”
The supermarkets are in on the trend too, though. Coles launched its grass-fed range, Graze, nationally in October, doubling the number of farmers it needed in the process.