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E-commerce Expansion Advances Opportunities for U.S. Beef in China

USMEF aligns training and promotion activities for U.S. beef with aggressive integrated strategies of red meat importers and distributors

China’s appetite for high-quality protein is growing and U.S. beef is helping to feed it. U.S. beef exports to China have grown dramatically in recent years and through the first 10 months of 2022, exports to China/Hong Kong increased 23% in volume and 32% by value over year-ago levels, reaching $2.23 billion.

USMEF addresses fabrication and packaging issues for an importer’s end-user customers in retail and e-commerce

A critical factor in this export growth is the explosive development of new and expanding distribution channels for consumers, who now have greater awareness of and access to high-quality food products.

“Importers are aggressively developing omnichannel capabilities to reach consumers through coordinated online and offline channels,” says Jihae Yang, USMEF vice president of Asia Pacific. “Advances in infrastructure, fabrication techniques and packaging enable an individual U.S. beef cut or product to be packaged, marketed and sold through numerous channels.”

U.S. beef promotion at a new retail outlet of JD.com, a major e-commerce company in China

Yang explains that USMEF works closely with importers and distributors on product quality attributes to demonstrate greater profit potential for a range of U.S. cuts, with training designed to improve importer and end-user customer processes related to fabrication, handling, packaging and merchandising.

“Promotions are powerful incentives to test the process changes we recommend and establish visibility for U.S. beef,” says Yang.

Promotions build consumer awareness and demonstrate profit potential directly to the end-user customers of red meat importers and distributors.

Funding support for the pictured education and promotion activities was provided by USDA’s Agricultural Trade Promotion program, the Beef Checkoff Program and Texas Beef Council.