© Copyright AgMedia Inc
by TREENA HEIN
Canadians prefer Canadian beef versus imported product, even if it costs a little more.
That fact – the result of extensive consumer research conducted by the Beef Information Centre (BIC, the marketing division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association) and other organizations – is central to a new Canadian beef marketing campaign about to roll out in Ontario this spring.
The media blitz, which will include advertising, recipe booklets, and materials for public relations and health professionals, will target ‘light beef eaters’ in the Greater Toronto Area (those who enjoy beef one to two times a week).
Ron Glaser, BIC executive director of communications, says the GTA was chosen because it possesses the highest concentration of ‘light’ beef eaters in Canada.
“With this campaign,” says Glaser, “We are looking to move a certain percentage of these ‘light’ beef eaters into the ‘medium’ category, where beef is consumed three to four times a week. For the consumer, this campaign is about health and nutrition benefits that fit with the Canada Food Guide.”
The campaign in Toronto will utilize a global Canadian beef brand logo and the tag-line ‘Canadian beef. Goodness in every bite.’
The branding will also be used to target the retail and foodservice trade in Canada and around the world.
In Ontario and Eastern Canada, where there is more competition with U.S. imports in terms of consumer spending, Glaser says the campaign will help. “This is a tool for retail and food service operators to clearly identify their products as Canadian.”
While Glaser hopes the branding initiative will have a positive effect on producers who have had their U.S. exports cut due to COOL (country of origin labelling) legislation, he says its creation has been in the works a long time and was not intended to counter the effects of these new regulations.
“We in the beef industry asked ourselves some time ago how we could differentiate Canadian beef in a consistent and effective manner,” says Glaser. “This branding initiative will be useful in opening new markets and expanding established markets, to better differentiate ourselves in terms of what makes Canadian beef unique. That’s primarily production standards, quality and food safety aspects.”
Glaser says for partners in the U.S. market who want to continue to market Canadian beef or develop their own brand in-house private brands using beef sourced in Canada or source Canadian beef from the commodity market, this branding will help. BF