Nearly 100,000 thousand barbecue-loving consumers joined the beef checkoff in our nation’s capital for an event where everyone agreed: Barbecues are fun!

Beef was represented as an official product sponsor in regional Giant stores during the weeks leading up to and including the two-day 25th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle. It was held in the heart of Washington, D.C., June 24-25. Attendees were invited to visit the beef booth for recipes, samples, games, giveaways and more to learn why beef makes every cookout a summertime favorite.

The purchase of official Barbecue Battle products, such as beef, granted consumers a free entry to the event. Thanks to beef’s sponsorship of the event, Giant store owners said they saw an increase in beef moved during the promotion.

Visitors to the beef booth learned about beef’s nutrient density, versatility and flavor profile. They were encouraged to post a selfie with the loveable inflatable steer, Bubba, using #SmileandSayBeef, on social media to win the ultimate grilling prize pack, which included a portable Coleman grill, travel bag, grilling tools, a beef cookbook, beef branded swag and a Yeti cooler.

Attendees could also test their beef knowledge with cut identification trivia to win an “I Love Beef” cutting board or enter to win a $200 steakhouse gift card through an onsite survey. The survey highlighted the vast amount of food wasted in the U.S. and encouraged folks to take the Food Waste Challenge to reduce waste at home.

Consumers were also polled to gauge their opinion of beef. After engaging with checkoff staff or booth volunteers, 89 percent of those answering the survey had a positive opinion of beef.

The beef checkoff continued its longstanding partnership with Roseda Beef of Monkton, Maryland, by offering nearly 8,000 samples of the Roseda MVP beef burger patties. MVP patties are made with beef from the Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania regions. While at the Barbecue Battle, MVP burger samples were paired with Vermont Bread Company hamburger buns, creating bite-sized sliders for attendees to taste at the beef booth.

To bring some of the all-time favorite beef recipes to life, the checkoff’s Executive Chef Dave Zino held cooking demos each day on the Savory stage. Chef Dave grilled and showcased a variety of beef cuts that could be used in fresh summer salad picks, such as the Sirloin Steak and Tomato Salad, Mediterranean Beef and Salad Pita and Beef and Heirloom Tomato Salad.  

Jennifer Orr, director of public relations with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), commented, “It is always a great opportunity to engage face-to-face with D.C. metro residents and remind them of the unique flavor profile beef offers and its nutrient density. Showcasing beef as a versatile protein gives young families an array of options to prepare beef at home.”

Participation was made possible with help from the Pennsylvania and Virginia State Beef Councils and millennial advocates.