July 9, 2013

Major Beef Packers & A Major Ad Campaign

The Nebraska Corn Board-sponsored team stands in front of one of the
USMEF ads promoting U.S. beef in Tokyo Station.  From left to right:
Tim Scheer, Dale Spencer, Doug Parde, Kyle Cantrell and Mark Jagels.
TOKYO, JAPAN (Wednesday, July 10)—This morning opened with a breakfast meeting with key Japanese packers including ISO, Cargill, Tyson and National.   The entire USMEF mission team—representing corn, soybeans, beef and pork from nine states—had informal discussions with these representatives.

USMEF President and CEO Phil Seng
thanks the packers
for joining us for breakfast.
USMEF CEO Phil Seng opened the meeting by thanking the packers for joining us, noting that "These folks are the pathfinders and we thank them for being with us, even when the going got tough."

The Cargill representative noted that while China gets a lot of attention, "don't forget Japan; we're back after 10 years."

During the conversation with the Tyson rep, he noted that there is a focus on the top hotels  across Japan—working hard to get them to reintroduce American beef to their menus, especially for the large and lucrative catering business.  Essentially, they focus on the premium hotels, considering them as "bell cows" which other hotels will follow. 

He also said that, now that American beef is back in the Japanese marketplace, the next stage will be brand differentiation, perhaps including store-level private brands of American beef.

Kyle Cantrell listens to a Japanese
packer representative.
Following breakfast, we took a quick trip to Tokyo Station, one of the largest public transportation hubs in Tokyo, through which some 400,000 people pass each day.  USMEF has place a high-profile saturation advertising campaign in the main pedestrian throughway, with repeated ads for American beef.  Several dozen ads appear on columns throughout the area—promoting the "juku" campaign and soliciting entries in the sweepstakes noted in an earlier blog.

Next up:  One-on-one conversations with several dozen of Japan's leading food bloggers. 

1 comment:

  1. Great coverage of trip so far. It shows NE corn commitment to the livestock industry. It takes a partnership with MEF members, USDA, Agribusiness, and checkoff dollars. If we don't promote our product other countries would love to capture our market share. Congrats to Nebraska corn board for sponsoring NE Cattlemen, and NE Corn Growers to see how checkoff dollars are spent.