Growing appetite in US for our grass-fed beef
The latest insights from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) reported strong growth and increased demand for its grass-fed, pastureraised beef and lamb in the US. Despite significant export and supply chain disruptions, New Zealand’s red meat exports reached a record high of $9.2 billion last year, with the US leading beef export volume growth across all key global markets. B+LNZ has seen double-digit percentage increases in quantity (15 per cent) and value (34 per cent) of grass-fed beef exported to the US in 2020, signifying high demand and growing preference for New Zealand grass-fed beef. “The global meat sector faced unprecedented challenges last year, but the tremendous growth we achieved is a testament to the agility of our farmers and processors, and growing demand,” said Nick Beeby, general manager market development, B +LNZ. “Throughout the pandemic, consumers sought safe, nutritious and sustainable food choices, and many selected New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb from our trusted brand partners.” In addition to growing consumer awareness and preference for grass-fed beef and lamb from New Zealand, several market trends also contributed to strong performance in 2020, including a surge in athome meal consumption due to Covid-19 and a focus on healthy eating and immunity-boosting foods. According to IRI data, “100 per cent Grass-fed” was one of the top 10 product claims consumers looked for in 2020. -The overall fresh meat category also saw growth in 2020. Fresh meat sales were up 35 per cent, and fresh meat led to fresh aisle growth at 18 per cent. Meanwhile, distribution and availability for New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb continues to grow at retail and online through a growing number of meat processing and marketing companies. “While B+LNZ focuses on building awareness and preference for New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb, we work with meat processing and marketing companies on specific campaigns to drive consumers to their products leveraging the Taste Pure Nature brand,” says Nick. A 2020 survey found that nearly 7 in 10 Americans said buying sustainably raised or produced food products is a priority. As consumer behaviors and preferences shift toward conscious consumption and more sustainable choices, B+LNZ continues to educate Americans about the benefits of grass-fed beef and lamb and the New Zealand grass-fed difference. “With grass-fed beef and lamb from New Zealand, people can feel better about their meat choices without compromising on taste or quality,” said USbased registered dietician and nutrition consultant Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD. “Not only is grass-fed red meat more sustainably and humanely raised than conventional meat, it’s also nutritionally superior and contains important vitamins and nutrients for overall immunity, energy levels, focus and performance. “Plus, it’s leaner, more finely textured and tastes better.” As part of increasing New Zealand’s sustainability story in the US, B+LNZ is educating US consumers about New Zealand’s holistic approach to farming; which focuses on soil health, animal welfare and thriving farm communities, and a commitment to maintaining the country’s biodiverse environment, protecting water and air, and reducing carbon emissions. B+LNZ’s newly released consumer-facing website, Making Meat Better, is helping underpin the sustainable promises made by Taste Pure Nature and is supporting the marketing of New Zealand beef and lamb globally.