Beef Checkoff Research Finds Beef as the Number One Protein Choice of Today’s Consumer

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Jennifer Nealson about the latest Beef Checkoff research.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back visiting with the senior vice president of global marketing and research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Jennifer Nealson, about the latest Beef Checkoff research.

The 2023 Cattle Industry Convention coverage is being powered by Performance Ranch, a part of Zoetis, and by Farm Data Services located in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

One of the things Jennifer Nealson oversees for the Dollar a head Beef Checkoff efforts that are contracted by the checkoff to the NCBA are research projects.

At the recent 2023 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, Nealson said the checkoff released a new piece of research all about today’s consumer.

“In that report, it is about a 12-page report, that talks all about today’s beef consumer,” Nealson said. “In that report, there are many measures that we are winning against chicken, and I am excited to share that over the many years and all of the efforts we have been doing on the promotion side, we are starting and continuing to see that we are making very good progress.”

The report, Nealson said, found that beef is the number one protein choice. Additionally, she added, people trust beef producers over chicken producers.

“Beef is great-tasting and is winning over chicken,” Nealson said.

Nealson said beef is also perceived by consumers as more nutritional than chicken.

“We are very excited about that, and what that means to the producer, and we also noticed that some of the margin there is too thin to celebrate yet,” Nealson said. “We need to keep going. We need to continue to invest in the promotion of beef and the value and versatility of this protein and why it truly is the number one protein in so many ways.”

Through that research, Nealson said it has been learned that 81 percent of the population eats chicken at least once a week as opposed to only 69 percent that eat beef once a week.

“We really need to increase the frequency by which people are eating beef, and I think many our marketing programs are helping consumers understand and get more comfortable with the selection and the preparation, and even how to use one meal many times,” Nealson said. “As we know, that versatility of beef is beyond any other protein- all the things you can do with it.”

Nealson also talked about marketing beef to consumers with less beef available than a year ago due to lower beef cow numbers.

“Our checkoff budgets are going to continue to be squeezed, and we really are focusing on what are those programs that get the biggest bang for that dollar, and how do we connect with the state fifty cents of that dollar so that we can be very coordinated and efficient in the way that we work together,” Nealson said. “We anticipate that this tightening of the budget will really hone our work even further and we are looking for creative ways that we can continue to get more out of the checkoff dollar.”

Looking into the most important areas of marketing in the next three to five years, Nealson said one of the areas the Beef Checkoff is most excited about is “making beef cool again.”

“If we can look at that younger generation and really think about what is their beef eating frequency and how do we get them to eat beef more,” Nealson said.

Increasing beef eating frequency, Nealson said, means increasing the frequency of consumption of all different cuts.

“So, not just the ground beef market, but also what are those specialty cuts and use kind of more of the animal in the way that everyday people eat their beef,” Nealson said.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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