E-Mart, USMEF-Korea Team up for First Major Beef Promotion Since BSE Announcement
After about a month, many retailers resumed in-store tasting promotions but still did not feature U.S. beef as aggressively in sales leaflets and advertisements as they did prior to the BSE announcement. Market leader E-Mart, however, is the first Korean retailer to return to full-scale U.S. beef promotions. USMEF and E-Mart launched a one-week 30 percent discount promotion on frozen Choice LA ribs, chilled Choice chuck eye roll and frozen Choice brisket point. With support from the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program, the promotion included newspaper advertisements in three major daily newspapers and in-store tasting samples at 20 of E-Mart’s 136 locations.
As South Korea is in the grip of severe food price inflation, the U.S. beef promotion proved very appealing. Sales of the featured items more than tripled from the same period last year and increased by more than 650 percent over the previous week.
“It has been especially gratifying to partner with E-Mart on this promotion and to see consumers respond so enthusiastically,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea director. “With BSE still a sensitive topic in Korea, retailers and restaurateurs have moved very cautiously since the April announcement. But these results will help demonstrate that the quality of U.S. beef still appeals greatly to Korean customers because it delivers an excellent dining experience.”