June 7, 2018
US demand for Aussie grassfed beef rising
Australian chilled grassfed beef is making significant inroads into the US as the demand from health-conscious consumers for "all natural" products is on the rise.
During the last six years, Australia has increased its chilled grass-fed beef trade from 11% to 25% of the total volume exported to the US, according to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
The US is Australia's second-largest beef market after Japan, purchasing 234,112 tonnes of beef in 2017.
Besides food service, MLA has been targetting, in its promotion of Australian beef, the millennials and urban eclectics as "they're wealthy, healthy and digital-savvy, and most likely to be 25- to 49-year-old women".
"While freshness, safety and value are still important attributes at the point-of-sale (POS), being 'all natural' is also important, with the health, environment and animal welfare attributes being valued by the premium grass-fed beef shopper at POS", MLA added.
MLA also said that awareness of country of origin remains a challenge, particularly among consumers in Japan and South Korea, where country of origin is the No. 1 decision driver. "Encouragingly, consumer surveys indicate nine out of 10 American grass-fed beef shoppers would consider buying imported beef, with Australia having a highly valued reputation amongst this segment", it added.
Many of MLA's activities in the US in the last few years have focused on the high-end foodservice sector, particularly chefs.
Australian manufacturing beef (or hamburger beef) exports to the US are still the largest proportion of trade by volume, comprising 63%, and supplying such customers as McDonald's and Burger King.