A Half Century of Progress
Some Notables of the Federation of State Beef Councils
• The promotion element of the National Beef Council merges with the Meat Board to form the Beef Industry Council (BIC), which is the Federation of State Beef Councils.
• The first BIC promotions include a “Butter Barbecued Steak” venture with the American Dairy Association and a “Beef for Father’s Day” effort with the American National CowBelles.
• Ten television commercials are created for retailer use and reach more than 35 percent of all U.S. homes.
• Promoting beef as a grilling favorite begins; 150,000 copies of a “Great for the Grill” color brochures are distributed.
• Six promotions, tying into seasons and major holidays, are conducted this year.
• Thirty-eight states voluntarily invest about $800,000 out of a total BIC budget of $2 million.
• For the first time, full-page color ads in women’s magazines proclaim “Nothing Beats Beef.” Beef councils and cattle organizations in nine states extend the effort.
• Beset by boycotts and demonstrations over beef prices, the industry responds collectively with factual beef information reaching 2.25 million consumers.
• A beef boycott followed by price freezes greatly impact the beef/cattle industry; contributions from beef councils and cattlemen’s groups raise the BIC promotion budget to $3.5 million.
• The first National Beef Cook-Off, with 13 contestants and a budget of $2,000, is managed by the CowBelles with assistance from the BIC.
• A $600,000 state/national advertising campaign reaches 20 percent of U.S. households with spots on The Dinah Shore Show; 11 states extend the campaign to reach 30 percent of homes.
• The “Bicentennial Beef Cookbook” reaches 100,000 consumers with 100 great beef dishes from America’s first 200 years.
• A $700,000 ad campaign ($350,000 from states) is themed, “Beef… The Food You’re Right to Like.”
• A $40,000 investment in an “All About Cooking Beef Outdoors” booklet results in a $1 million promotion, with recognition from Advertising Age magazine as one of 1977’s best campaigns.
• State beef councils partner with BIC on a Fall Freezer Beef promotion to help move a larger than expected beef supply.
• A balanced response to Dietary Goals is published by the National Academy of Sciences in “Toward Healthful Diets.”
• State beef councils help distribute 150,000 “Beef in Minutes” booklets, featuring dishes ready in 20 minutes or less.
• The combined state/national promotion budget reaches $6.8 million in 1980 – compared to $1.9 million in 1970; 34 states participate (19 have legislated checkoffs).
• A survey finds that 2/3 of producers are willing to pay 50 cents or higher in a checkoff, with 60 percent going to state programs and 40 percent going to national ones. But a “Beeferendum” on the proposal is defeated during the year.
• By July, 22 states had committed to 25 cents/hd funding level or higher, with a goal of $1/hd.
• A nutrition ad, “The Role of Beef in a Balanced Diet,” runs in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nutrition Today and the Journal of Home Economics;
• “It’s Beef for the Classroom”, an education kit for Junior High School students, was distributed, while “And the Winner is… Ground Beef” was sent to teachers, reaching 100,000 students.
• A new theme took shape: “Somehow, Nothing Satisfies like Beef”;
• The BIC program budget reaches $8 million;
• A retail program, “Reach for the Goodness of Beef,” hits 18,400 stores; a “Beef Means Business” newsletter goes to retailers.
• There are now 35 state beef councils participating in BIC promotions;
• A beef long range plan, “1990: Planning to Get There Profitably,” is introduced.
• New Product Development sharpens its focus, with 19 specific possibilities for the industry identified.
• Beef promotion program funding hits $18.6 million, or 8 cents per capita. There are now 38 state beef councils.
• The Beef Promotion Research Act, requiring $1-per-head assessments on all bovine animals sold, passes congress and is signed into law.
• The mandatory checkoff begins, with 41 qualified state beef councils collecting the assessment.
• Promotions in FY 1987 hit $26.4 million; Spokespersons are James Garner and Cybil Shepherd.
• The checkoff shares the new “It’s Veal Easy” theme with consumers.
• The FY 1988 promotional budget climbs to $48.6 million.
• The “Real Food for Real People” tag line leads to a 263-percent increase in the awareness of an “eat beef” message.
• 79 percent of producers vote in a referendum to continue the mandatory checkoff program.
• State beef councils add hundreds of additional radio stations to a national 1,700-station Paul Harvey beef message campaign.
• Robert Mitchum’s voice - in TV and radio ads claims “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.”
• Partnerships with the dairy industry, A-1, Heinz, Ore Ida, Lea and Perrin help extend the checkoff with more than $22 million in programs.
• A Blue-Ribbon Task Force is named to identify new ways to improve beef safety.
• The BIWFD campaign reaches 98 percent of consumers, 25 times, in a year that features 1,900 TV spots and 50 ads in major consumer magazines.
• Much focus shifts to beef safety, as a Blue Ribbon Task Force on E. coli O157:H7 is named.
• Total combined state/national promotion program coordinated by the BIC is $84.1 million.
• Beef programs of the National Live Stock and Meat Board merge with the National Cattlemen’s Association to form the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
• BSE raises its head in Europe and the checkoff, through the NCBA issues management program, gets ready.
• A “Beef Meals Solutions” campaign hits 14,500 retail stores with nearly 75 million recipe cards.
• “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” returns with the voice of Sam Elliott and the Rodeo music by Aaron Copland.
• State beef councils support the effort with radio and print ads focusing on fully-cooked, ready-to-eat beef.
• Research shows that 83 percent of moms recognize the “BIWFD” theme.
• 86 percent of consumers say they are confident that U.S. beef is safe from BSE and FMD.
• Retail partners, like A-1 and Old El Paso, spend $6 for every $1 the checkoff invests in retail promotions during the year.
• A $28 million summer grilling campaign includes the participation of 35 beef councils in funding national promotions, advertising and public relations efforts.
• Muscle profiling research leads to 14 new “Beef Value Cuts” that increase consumer interest and sales over the following decade.
• In December, the trigger is pulled on the industry’s BSE crisis management plan with “The Cow that Stole Christmas.” However, confidence in U.S. beef holds 89 percent and actually rises to 91 percent by February 2004.
• More than 500 new beef products were introduced in retail and foodservice arenas.
• By 2004, all major packers/processors are harvesting the shoulder clod, which produces the Petite Tender, Flat Iron and Ranch Cut Steaks.
• A BEEFlexible foodservice advertising campaign parlays a $1.4 million checkoff investment into more than $95.7 million in promotions to put more beef on menus.
• Foodservice outlets sell 47 million pounds of flat iron steaks, surpassing the Porterhouse in foodservice volume. In all, 106 million pounds of Beef Value Cut steaks are sold.
• Five value-added cuts joined other successful cuts in commercialization, with industry partners such as Certified Angus Beef, Tyson, Swift and Cargill helping support the effort;
• Veal programs generate more than $1 million in estimated ad equivalency through PR efforts.
• Federation directors adopt a statement of beliefs recognizing the state-national partnership’s role in building demand, supporting producer control of the checkoff through the Qualified State Beef Councils; and identifying the industry’s long range plan as a checkoff guidepost.
• The Federation adopts a Charter of Principles to provide a framework for appropriate independence in Federation decision-making.
• Retail partners provide 116 million beef coupons, equaling about $320 million in savings for consumers.
Federation information on this page funded by the Beef Checkoff.