Working to increase U.S. beef sales in the wake of an expanded duty-free quota in the European Union, USMEF partnered with distributors and retailers in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania. Funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and supported by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), activities in February and March included master classes, cutting demonstrations and media outreach.
“We have engaged many of our partners across Europe to ensure that the increased quota is utilized to its full extent and that European consumers have good experiences and appreciate high-quality U.S. beef,” said Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the EU. “While markets in western Europe are familiar with U.S. beef, many consumers in eastern and central Europe are not and represent great potential for U.S. beef.”
The promotional activities were led by USMEF Global Beef Ambassador John Cadieux.
Master Class at Metro Cash and Carry in Romania A U.S. beef master class for HRI clients in Bucharest, Romania highlighted U.S. beef striploin and ribeye. More than 40 chefs and foodservice professionals received training on U.S. beef handling, cutting and cooking.
“The event was so well received that we have arranged to discuss the possibility of holding similar classes for Metro butchers and other employees, along with a separate one for Metro’s HRI clients,” said Barutkin. “Our ultimate goal is to encourage Metro to develop portion control products using U.S. beef that could be featured in all outlets throughout Europe.”
Master Class and Media Event in Bulgaria In partnership with Metro Cash and Carry, USMEF conducted two U.S. beef master classes at the Metro Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria. One class was for the media and one was for hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) professionals. Metro Cash and Carry, a Germany-based wholesale chain, operates retail warehouse clubs across Europe, China, India, Japan, and Pakistan. More than 80 reporters and bloggers participated in the media class, during which they were informed of the launch of U.S. beef retail promotions at all 11 Metro Cash and Carry outlets in Bulgaria. Photos and a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria can be seen here.
More than 40 chefs were educated on various U.S. beef cuts, including alternative cuts such as top blade, chuck, tri-tip and flank steak. Barutkin noted that alternative cuts of U.S. beef could be especially popular in Bulgaria due to attractive pricing.
Promotions and Trainings with Auchan in Poland In Warsaw, Poland, Cadieux presented a U.S. beef cutting demonstration for meat department managers of the Auchan supermarket chain. The purpose was to provide examples of the versatility of U.S. beef cuts and provide new recipe and menu ideas.
After the class, Auchan launched a “Taste of Americas” promotion in all 74 of its stores in Poland, showcasing portion-control cuts of U.S. beef ribeye and striploin.