Introducing alternative cuts of U.S. beef to the catering and foodservice sectors in Taiwan, USMEF organized a seminar titled, “Changing the Meat We Eat,” at the Hotel Fleur de Hine in Nantou County, funded by the Wyoming Beef Council and the Beef Checkoff Program.
USMEF is a subcontractor of the Beef Checkoff.
“This seminar was not only a great platform for sharing information about U.S. beef, it also opened up lines of communication with restaurants and food businesses that use U.S. beef or could potentially feature U.S. beef on their menus,” said Davis Wu, USMEF director in Taiwan.
To help participants benefit from the information shared, USMEF hired an artistic company to make a “graphic recording” of the seminar. Artists recorded the content of each session in a series of images to help attendees memorize the points they learned. At the end of the seminar, they were invited to snap photographs of a giant mural created with these images.
Wu opened the seminar by sharing an overview of the Taiwanese market, noting that the latest data from the Council of Agriculture (COA) showed that per capita beef consumption in Taiwan increased from 8.3 pounds in 2007 to 13 pounds, a 57% jump over a 10-year period.
That growth is continuing, Wu noted.
“U.S. beef’s performance has remained strong in the Taiwanese market in the past few years, with exports reaching 59,640 metric tons in 2018, a 33% increase from the previous year,” he said. “Eating habits are changing in Taiwan, and people are looking for higher quality protein and are willing to spend more on it. Like the name of our seminar, “Changing the Meat We Eat,” suggests, USMEF has been working to introduce new concepts to the businesses that are using U.S. beef.”
Three main topics were covered in the seminar: catering management, processed beef products and U.S. beef alternative cuts.
Taiwan’s catering industry is fiercely competitive and changing rapidly, so USMEF invited Yang Kai-Jhih, food and beverage director of the Hotel Fleur de Chine, and Lin Yi-cheng, who has worked as food and beverage director for several major catering groups, to share their experiences in marketing and management. The speakers discussed catering market trends, promotional strategies, cost management, menu development, ingredient pairings and consumer eating habits.
Processed beef products
To show participants how to maximize beef cuts for processing, USMEF invited Lin Liang-Chuan, a professor in the Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology at National Chung Hsing University, to talk about beef hygiene management, beef dry-aging and preservation and how to process beef. He also introduced new methods and technologies for improving meat products, such as shortening the time of the dry-aging process and using a professional defrosting machine for frozen beef.
“New beef storage technology is very important to us, as it not only helps save time but also ensures the quality of imported beef,” seminar participant Cara Pan, vice president of Pioneer Global Group, said. “We are very appreciative of USMEF for conducting this seminar and including very helpful information.”
U.S. beef alternative cuts
The characteristics of U.S. beef chuck ribeye, a cut that USMEF is working to promote in Taiwan, was highlighted. USMEF shared ideas about how to cook the chuck ribeye, as well as some of the latest cooking methods used in the market.
“USMEF has been committed to promoting alternative cuts for years, and these efforts have led to Taiwanese importers introducing new cuts to their clients,” said Wu. “Also encouraging is the fact that many restaurant and foodservice managers are showing interest in learning about more new cuts, so we are planning to continue this effort.”