Along with training butchers at new Sam’s Club outlets in China, USMEF activities in Shanghai, Kunshan and Ningbo also were successful in reaching consumers looking for information about U.S. beef and pork.
Funding for the effort was provided by the Texas Beef Council, the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) and the National Pork Board.
“We recognized that many butchers in the cities where the new Sam‘s Club outlets are located need training about cutting and handling U.S. beef and pork, and on the attributes of certain cuts,” said Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China. “For employees of these new stores, we had a USMEF chef present educational sessions, introduce proper handling and storage techniques and give detailed explanations on different beef and pork cuts. We also showed the butchers how to create U.S. beef and pork plate sets and displays that better attract customers to the stores’ meat departments.”
The subsequent consumer promotions focused on U.S. beef cuts that Chinese consumers prefer to cook at home. The USMEF chef prepared U.S. beef dishes and offered tasting samples to Sam’s Club shoppers, including pan-fried ribeye steak, stewed short ribs, fried chuck roll and stewed rib fingers and brisket.
“It’s a very good combination – training the butchers who ultimately cut and display U.S. red meat while also giving consumers a taste of the products available,” explained Liang. “Sam’s Club has great potential to increase demand for U.S. red meat in China, so we are proactive in partnering with them on projects like this.”
At the end of 2020, Sam’s Club had 31 stores in 21 cities across China – serving more than 3 million members.