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CATTLE TODAY

BEEF IS STILL "KING OF THE GRILL"

Centennial, Colo., Feb 5, 2007 – Recently released figures show beef dollar sales and pound sales were up three percent and six percent respectively in 40 markets during the summer grilling program between June and September 2006. Beef grilling cuts accounted for 67 percent of total beef dollar sales during the 18-week campaign, according to FreshLook Marketing.

Funded through the checkoff, the 2006 program delivered an aggressive consumer advertising and promotional campaign using national radio ads, attention-grabbing retail partnership promotions and widespread product sampling in cooperation with major retailers. The original summer grilling campaign began in 2002, targeting adults 25-54.

The 2006 grilling promotional budget, which included campaigns in January and the fall tailgating season, was $2.2 million. Last spring, the Federation of State Beef Councils voted to chip in an additional $2 million in Federation reserves toward the annual beef blitz. Cattlemen wanted to ensure an intensive campaign that would keep beef top-of-mind with consumers during a period of predicted protein oversupply.

“These sales figures are very gratifying, because last year we felt it was more important than ever to accelerate grilling promotions,” said Larry Jones, a Kansas producer and chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils.

Promotional partnerships with food brands such as A.I.® Steak Sauce and Marinades, Sutter Home wines and Chinet paper products expanded the reach of checkoff promotional funds, added Cattlemen's Beef Board member Don Stewart, who is also co-chairman of the checkoff's Joint Retail Committee.

The Bottom Line: Checkoff-funded efforts like summer grilling help promote beef at the retail level; checkoff funds also promote and educate retailers about beef. An example is the Beef Value Cuts, which have been widely promoted to retailers. In fiscal 2006, nearly 10,000 U.S. supermarkets carried these checkoff-created cuts – nearly double the 5,000 offering them in 2005 and up from just 321 retailers who sold them in 2003.

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