Canada looks to beef up beef sales to China
With China’s demand for meat soaring, Canada is looking to promote its brand of beef in the huge market.
On March 27, Deron Bilous, Alberta’s minister of economic development and trade, joined the Canada Beef team in China to host a culinary event and cooking class in Beijing.
Twenty Chinese consumers also gathered at the ABC Cooking Studio Indigo Store in Beijing to sample Canadian beef.
The event included a cooking demonstration of premium Canadian beef cuts, followed by the opportunity for the consumer audience to cook and experience their own Canadian beef meal.
Beef consumption in China has been soaring in recent years. Chinese imports of beef in the first half of this year stood at 184,000 tons – up 17 percent over the same period in 2014. Canada is the largest beef and cattle exporter in the world.
Canadian beef is sold at more than 100 stores in China, including a dozen Sam’s Club and Ole’s in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Dalian.
China imported 32,870 tons beef from Canada in 2015; that’s 381 percent growth compared with 2014.
By the end of January, Canada has exported 1,820 tons of beef to China, twice the amount from last year.
Canada’s pristine environment, cool climate and fresh water make it an ideal place to raise cattle.
Canada is a world leader in feed grain production, including barley, wheat and corn. High-quality feed grains enable Canada to produce wellmarbled, flavorful and tender beef, with white-colored fat that consumers around the world prefer.
Canada Beef President Rob Meijer is confident the continued focus on Chinese consumers will strategically position the Canadian beef brand and secure increased mind-share in this market.
“Consumer engagement is more than simply broadcasting our message. We must create conversation points and spur creative thought through an exceptional Canadian beef experience,” said Meijer. “Our loyal brand advocates want two-way, reciprocal communication, so we continue to engage consumers through immersive experiences.”
“In Alberta, we are known for our Rocky Mountains, our oil and gas industry, and our world-class beef,” said Bilous. “Our cattle are grown, raised and made to meet the highest standards. With an international reputation for exceptional taste, quality and safety, there is no better example of our agriculture sector than Alberta beef.”
Canada Beef continues to work with provincial partners and governments, and brand partners to drive demand for Canadian beef among Chinese
In Alberta, we are known for our Rocky Mountains, our oil and gas industry, and our world-class beef.”
consumers. This leads to increased brand awareness and brand loyalty, with the intention of positioning Canadian beef as a favorite protein among Chinese consumers. Canada Beef is the cattle producer-funded and run organization responsible for domestic and international beef and veal market development.