While the sluggish
“Seeing the demand for middle meats in the domestic market soften, we are looking for every way to enhance their appeal in the eyes of overseas consumers,” said USMEF President and
These targeted efforts in
Similarly, the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel, a regional luxury hotel located in
Several major restaurant chains are also focusing on
- Wolfgang Puck, which serves “
casual” cuisine, is featuring California ribeye on the regular menu at six of its eight Japanese locations. U.S.
- Jonathan, a family-style restaurant chain with 369 outlets in
, is aggressively promoting Japan steak on the spring menu to be featured in April and May. Jonathan’s menu also displays the “We Care” campaign logo to highlight the quality and safety of U.S. beef. U.S.
- Casual steakhouse chain Steakhouse Volks had so much success with a December-January U.S. steak promotion that it is now featuring
sirloin in a spring menu promotion running at 50 locations through April 30. Steak no Don, a similar chain operated by the same parent company, is also conducting an American beef spring fair featuring U.S. Choice steak items at its 96 outlets. U.S.
- Vicky’s, a casual restaurant located at the Tokyo Dome, is offering
middle-meat items to U.S. ’s baseball fans during a special promotion through May 10. The menu will feature five Japan steak items as well as a U.S. short rib. U.S.
- Since it opened its first
location in December 2007, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse has worked actively with USMEF to promote U.S. Prime steaks, including promotional support and development of new menu items. Tokyo
On the retail side, USMEF began a new round of promotions in December with 28 major chains, encompassing 1,200 locations. These partnerships included Daiei, Ito Yokado and Seiyu/Wal-Mart, with a campaign focused on the
“The results of this retail campaign are extremely gratifying,” Seng said. “While the tendency in this economy has been for consumers to ‘trade down’ by choosing less expensive cuts of beef, this promotion offered a motivation for them to upgrade to the striploin. That’s exactly the type of strategy we need in order to keep moving high-quality middle meats.”
Other recent retail promotions have included:
- USMEF organized a one-day
steak promotion on March 1 with Ito Yokado, one of the largest supermarket chains in U.S. . The event was highly successful, totaling sales of 22.5 metric tons (almost 50,000 pounds). Because of these positive results, Ito Yokado is already planning similar future promotions, which are also being planned at other large retailers such as Daiei, York Benimaru and York Mart. Japan
- In a unique promotional opportunity, USMEF targeted retail consumers by offering a special tenderloin meal as a sweepstakes prize in a campaign conducted at Comodi Iida, an influential regional retail chain in the
area. This event capitalized on the crossover appeal of USMEF-sponsored chef competitions and foodservice promotions by showcasing the quality and versatility of Tokyo middle meats for retail consumers. U.S.
“Although consumers are being more cautious with their spending, good food and dining are a key part of the Japanese culture,” says USMEF Japan director Gregory Hanes. “Rather than splurge on Wagyu, they are seeing that
Competitive pricing also sparks interest in other Asian destinations
USMEF is also reemphasizing the value of
"Even in a weak economy, customers will turn to the predictability and higher value of a U.S. Prime ribeye or tenderloin," said guest training chef Adam Levin, a
USMEF also recently held a classic steakhouse promotion at the Bangkok Sheraton, featuring U.S. Prime, chilled middle meats. Ribeye dishes were also recently featured in a USMEF cooking demonstration for chefs, restaurant owners and culinary school instructors at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in