With a focus on chilled and alternative cuts, USMEF partnered with three popular restaurant chains in Taiwan to introduce consumers to new options for U.S. beef entrées. Funded by the Texas Beef Council, the campaign featured special menu items and interactive events at Texas Roadhouse, The God Beef and Jack Brothers locations.
“Dining out has become a big part of the Taiwanese lifestyle and it is no longer an activity reserved solely for special occasions,” said Davis Wu, USMEF director in Taiwan. “The growing interest in the restaurant scene has great potential for U.S. beef. In this promotional effort, USMEF’s goals were to educate customers about U.S. beef and to encourage restaurants to carry more chilled U.S. beef on menus, especially dishes that use alternative cuts.”
Wu pointed to statistics released by the country’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, which indicate that 93% of Taiwanese citizens claim to dine out “regularly,” with about one-third reporting that they dine out four times per week. The most recent statistics also show that food accounted for 20% of household expenditures in Taiwan, with visits to restaurants and tourist spots representing 12%, the highest percentage that category has ever registered.
Following is a brief description of the USMEF promotions conducted with each restaurant chain:
U.S. beef chuck eye steak and sirloin were the focus of events at four Texas Roadhouse restaurants. A special menu promotion was designed to introduce new dishes made with chuck eye steak: three types of beef chili, a beef salad and beef noodles. Two other steak dishes were made with U.S. beef sirloin.Social media played an important role in publicizing the Texas Roadhouse events, as several advertisements and interviews were produced and posted. A media luncheon was held prior to the event.
“Texas Roadhouse reported that through its collaboration with USMEF, it had the opportunity to offer Taiwanese customers new beef cuts, and introduced beef noodles to its menu, something the chain had always wanted to try,” said Wu. “It’s the first time an American restaurant chain in Taiwan has offered beef noodles, and the debut attracted great media attention.”
The God Beef
U.S. chuck eye steak and ribeye steak were highlighted at six The God Beef steakhouses. A special video as produced featuring one of the chain’s owners explaining how U.S. beef adds value and quality to the menu. Encouraging customers to select U.S. beef, the chain created an interactive reward program in which customers received one point for every $100 spent on selected items. Once customers acquired a certain amount of points, they would receive a special prize.
After the promotion, managers at The God Beef confirmed that the company planned to continue the U.S. beef reward card program and include U.S. chuck eye steak as a permanent menu item.
Jack Brothers Steakhouse
Emphasizing the benefits of chilled beef, dishes made with U.S. beef tenderloin were promoted and served at Jack Brothers, a steak restaurant with two locations in Taiwan. Among the menu items highlighted was U.S. beef filet mignon with shrimp and mushrooms.
Food bloggers and other social media influencers participated in the two-month promotion, during which the restaurant reported an increase in sales of nearly 15%.
Social media posts earned a great amount of attention for U.S. chilled beef and for the restaurant. One of the posts from the US. beef campaign can be seen here.U.S. beef exports to Taiwan were record-large for the fourth consecutive year in 2019, climbing to 63,538 metric tons. Export value set a new record for the seventh consecutive year at $567.1 million. The United States dominates Taiwan’s chilled beef market, capturing approximately 75% of its chilled imports – the highest share of any Asian destination.