Demand for U.S beef is on the rise in emerging Middle East markets, particularly in countries like Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In December, USMEF held a series of retail promotions and tasting events to help raise consumer awareness of U.S. beef. Support for these activities was provided by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).
In Oman, the events were held over a period of four days at two of the region’s most well-known retailers: The Butcher’s Block in the coastal city of Seeb and Sultan Center in Qurum, a suburb of the capital city of Muscat. A variety of high quality U.S. beef cuts were displayed and promoted at both outlets. The Butcher’s Block offered U.S. ribeye, sirloin, striploin, T-bone and brisket, while Sultan Center showcased U.S. striploin, tenderloin and T-bone.
The UAE events were conducted with Lulu Hypermarkets, a major retailer operating more than 100 outlets in the region. Two Lulu locations in Abu Dhabi displayed U.S. beef items including tenderloin, striploin, and sirloin.
A U.S. beef demonstration stand was set up in the meat department of each store. Trained promoters distributed grilled U.S. beef samples to more than 100 customers per day at each location and answered consumer questions. Visitors were also given recipe cards, including a popular recipe for “Spiced Grilled U.S. Beef Tenderloin Steaks.” Promoters discussed the premium quality of U.S. beef with customers and explained the attributes that distinguish U.S. beef from its competitors.
“Oman and the UAE are markets that show excellent potential for U.S. beef exports,” said John Brook, USMEF regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East. “Visitors to these promotional events praised the flavor, tenderness and juiciness of U.S. beef and said they were pleased to be introduced to the product.”
The retail sectors of Oman and the UAE are fiercely competitive. For this reason, USMEF plans to conduct similar events in the region on an annual basis and to secure placement of U.S. beef with new retailers entering the region.
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