Focus on eating quality as a brand attribute
AbacusBio consultant Jason Archer says that while there are many attributes around which the “New Zealand beef” brand is built, eating quality should be the first priority.
Branded beef programmes in New Zealand currently revolve around the green story, encompassing the natural environment animals are produced in, the welfare of animals, and sustainability (in all its facets).
Another story we are starting to tell is our strength in grass-fed production and the health attributes of New Zealand beef.
However, Jason argues that “it is important for premium eating quality to underpin all these brands,” Jason says.
If a consumer pays a premium based on a good brand story (with all the attributes to underpin the story), but then has a poor eating experience, will they repeat their beef purchase from this brand? Probably not, Jason explains.
New Zealand beef is a great product, and has a great story behind it, but its achilles heel is its variable eating experience.
“We all have the occasional poor eating experience from beef, and it can be very disappointing.”
Sometimes the blame lies with the chef, but often the raw product that the chef is working with is not truly of premium quality.
Those brand attributes and story can have a positive impact with many higher end consumers, especially in Asia, and have the advantage that they can be used to underpin sales from the whole animal including the low grade cuts and mince.
But what really keeps consumers coming back is the juiciness and tenderness of the beef as part of their eating experiences.
The rest should be secondary.