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Sobeys, BIC relaunch ground beef program

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s beef market development wing has launched a new consumer education approach to marketing ground beef in Atlantic Canada through the Sobeys grocery chain.

The CCA’s Beef Information Centre (BIC) is working with Sobeys Atlantic, the largest retailer on the East Coast, on a “revitalized” ground beef program at the chain’s 81 stores in the four Atlantic provinces.

The program covers lean, extra lean and regular ground beef, and features the Canadian beef brand mark “prominently displayed” on rack cards, posters, case dividers and in-store flyers, BIC said.

However, BIC said, it also worked with Sobeys to include the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s “Health Check” logo on labels of Sobeys extra lean ground beef and extra lean ground sirloin packages.

“BIC decided to help Sobeys target this market due to the company’s extensive reach and influence, and because of their commitment to the Canadian beef industry,” said Jennifer MacDonald, a BIC committee member and beef producer from Kent County, N.B., in the centre’s release.

“The East Coast is comprised of a unique demographic that can benefit from improved marketing that communicates the excellent nutritional benefits of beef.”

Key messages developed for the Sobeys program focus around the “healthfulness, convenience and quality” of Canadian beef, as well as the Canadian Beef Advantage (CBA), BIC said.

The CBA, it said, “defines and communicates attributes of Canadian beef and the supply chain that supports the value proposition.”

It also “leverages the systems-based approaches utilized in Canada to ensure high quality, food safety and animal health that contribute to high levels of customer satisfaction and profitability.”

“The Sobeys program is expected to drive additional sales and elevate consumer awareness around Canadian ground beef by educating and delivering positive messages about the goodness of Canadian beef,” MacDonald said.

But BIC said it also expects that due to Sobeys’ market presence, the ground beef initiative “may influence competitors to revisit their own Canadian beef marketing strategies.”

BIC, MacDonald said, hopes the program “will help continue to drive positive communication around the ground beef category throughout the rest of the country.”

But for now, Sobeys, which operates over 1,300 stores across all 10 provinces, will feature the ground beef program in Atlantic Canada “on an ongoing basis,” BIC said.

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