A worldwide beacon of quality, Certiﬁed Angus Beef brand sales of 1.21 billion pounds were recorded in Fiscal 2018. That’s the 12th consecutive annual sales record, extending a 14-year streak of year-over-year growth and the third year for sales above 1 billion pounds.
The 8.1% increase represents an additional 91 million pounds of high-quality beef raised by quality-minded farmers and ranchers to meet steadily growing consumer demand.
“For the past 40 years, a community of people from farm to plate – each necessary to deliver the Certiﬁed Angus Beef brand to dinner tables around the world – have shared much: a passion for excellence, a dedication to quality, and ideas and inspirations to achieve our goals,” said John Stika, the brand’s president. “Along the way, we’ve built relationships on trust and a shared vision. By doing so, what started out as a simple idea among a small group of cattlemen has become the world’s leading brand of beef.”
The brand set sales records in all 12 months of its 40th anniversary year, and seven of the brand’s 10 highest sales months in history were in 2018. More than 100 million pounds were sold in the months of March, May, June, July, August and September, with August being the most successful month ever recorded.
True to its inception in 1978, a community of farmers and ranchers remain the backbone of the brand, committed to supplying consumers with consistent and pleasurable eating experiences. Their efforts to raise quality cattle enabled licensed processors, distributors, restaurateurs and retailers to meet this growing demand for premium beef.
Responding to economic signals from the consumer marketplace, cattlemen raised a record 5.18 million cattle that met all of the brand’s requirements last year – an increase of 14.3% over 2017. Further, the rate of cattle eligible to earn the brand name rose to a record 32.5%, up from just 17.8% a decade ago.
Every division sets records
A global network of nearly 20,000 licensed partners found individual business success through brand recognition in retail meat cases and on restaurant menus. Manageable prices in concert with strong demand led to sales records in every division of the Certiﬁed Angus Beef brand.
The most robust growth took place in the International Division, with 207 million pounds exported to 50 countries outside the United States – an 18.6% increase over last year and the best in the brand’s history. What comprised more than one-third of total brand growth was due to the strong market in South Korea, followed by Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Mexico.
Quality-focused retailers remained the largest contributor to total brand sales, at approximately 41%. A more favorable price spread relative to commodity beef options led to more Certiﬁed Angus Beef ® brand items featured in circulars, thus growing retail sales by 8.3% to a new high of 494 million pounds.
Nearly 11,000 licensed restaurants are included in the Foodservice Division, which netted sales of 405.5 million pounds, a 5.3% increase. The division boasted a ninth consecutive year of record sales, further proof of the brand’s value to chefs and restaurateurs who prize its consistent quality, and patrons who crave its flavor.
Processors responded to growing consumer demand for high-quality convenience meals in both retail and foodservice with branded value-added products. Sales rose by 8.1% to 29.2 million pounds, driven most by smoked brisket, marinated fajita meat and burgers in the frozen case.
Balanced category growth
Illustrating a steady desire from the industry’s most discerning customers, and the rising tide of quality at the ranch, sales of the brand’s exclusive Prime product extension achieved its highest growth ever at 31.2%.
Continuing a trend from last year, the brand experienced a balanced rate of growth across product categories. Backed by traditionally strong demand, particularly for celebrations and special occasions, sales of middle meats (premium steaks) grew by 6.5% over last year. Reflecting continued consumer appeal for a better burger, ground beef increased 10.3% over 2017. Sales of roasts and other end meats, which are often the centerpiece of family meals, rose by 8.2%.
Source: Certified Angus Beef