If a good reference can open doors to new business opportunities, then a joint venture of two California-based beef companies received the best possible recommendation from a premium foods importer in Singapore recently.
Artisan Fine Foods, renowned in Singapore for its selection of culinary delicacies, recently introduced its best customers – nearly 200 individuals from 90 of the trendiest independent restaurants in town – to grain-fed beef from Harris Ranch Beef Company and Brandt Beef, which operate a joint international marketing venture under the “One World Beef” banner.
USMEF-Singapore partnered with Artisan on a special education and tasting event at the Singapore Hilton earlier this month to introduce 186 people representing 90 food service establishments – all customers of Artisan – to the products of Harris Ranch Beef Company and Brandt Beef, both family-owned operations that have been in business since before World War II.
“These independent restaurants are flexible and spontaneous with menu changes, and they are very excited about these new products,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF-ASEAN director. “The unique product qualities will be a great marketing tool in Singapore’s highly competitive foodservice sector.”
USMEF and Artisan Fine Foods staff escorted the visitors on a culinary tour of U.S. beef cuts prepared in a variety of ways: roasted, pan-fried, stewed and shabu-shabu style. The cuts included ribeye, striploin, tenderloin, short ribs, top blade, tri tip, petit tender/teres major, flap meat, brisket, round flat, flank steak and top sirloin.
“The customers we met with are looking for products to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” said Sam Smith, sales manager for One World Beef. “They were extremely enthusiastic and positive – some came back for thirds and fourths on the samples we provided.”
“Artisan Fine Foods is committed to selling premium quality food products sourced from around the world,” said Yin. “They want new product brands with unique attributes. One World Beef’s two brands fit well into Artisan’s current range of products.”
Artisan Foods bore the cost of the event, including room rental, meat samples and logistics. Funding from the Beef Checkoff Program and USDA Market Access Program (MAP) supported the participation of USMEF staff and the point-of-sale materials handed out to all attendees. In addition to helping with product preparation and sampling, USMEF supplied the attendees with information on U.S. beef cuts and background on product quality and safety.
One of the world’s leading ports and financial centers, the city-state of Singapore is a small but growing market for U.S. beef. Australia, Brazil and New Zealand are its leading suppliers, with the U.S. market share ranging from 7 to 8 percent in recent years.
“There is opportunity for growth in Singapore, and it is a very high-value market,” said Yin. “By introducing distinctive products that help restaurants and retailers differentiate themselves from their competition, we will increase U.S. beef sales.”