Brand Update 2020

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BR update <strong>2020</strong><br />

ND<br />


BRAND UPDATE <strong>2020</strong><br />

Managing Editor: Nicole Erceg<br />

Senior Editor: Steve Suther<br />

Art Director: David Barry<br />

Designer: Tina Melicant<br />

Circulation Manager: Beth Barner<br />

Contributing Writers: Kylee Kohls, Crystal Meier,<br />

Courtney Middleton, Bryan Schaaf<br />

President: John F. Stika, Ph.D.<br />

Senior Executive Vice Presidents: Brent Eichar,<br />

Tracey Erickson<br />

Executive Vice Presidents: Bruce Cobb,<br />

Steve Ringle<br />

<strong>2020</strong>-21 Board of Directors:<br />

Jonathan Perry, Chairman, Fayetteville, Tennessee<br />

Chuck Grove*, Forest, Virginia<br />

Dave Hinman, Malta, Montana<br />

Mike McCravy, Bowden, Georgia<br />

Barry Pollard*, Enid, Oklahoma<br />

Mick Varilek*, Geddes, South Dakota<br />

Dwight “Kip” Palmer, Rochester, New York<br />

Mark McCully, Vice Chairman,<br />

CEO American Angus Association ® ,<br />

St. Joseph, Missouri<br />

John Stika, President, Certified Angus<br />

Beef LLC, Wooster, Ohio<br />

Brent Eichar, Secretary Treasurer, Certified Angus<br />

Beef LLC, Wooster, Ohio<br />

* New board member<br />

Board Members through<br />

November <strong>2020</strong>:<br />

John Grimes, Chairman, Hillsboro, Ohio<br />

James W. Henderson, Childress, Texas<br />

Published by:<br />

American Angus Association ®<br />

c/o Certified Angus Beef LLC<br />

206 Riffel Road<br />

Wooster, OH 44691-8588 USA<br />

Phone: 330-345-2333<br />

Fax: 330-345-0808<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com<br />

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand name<br />

and marks are service/trademarks of<br />

Certified Angus Beef LLC.<br />

© <strong>2020</strong> Volume 24, Issue 1,<br />

published annually. All rights reserved.<br />

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is the original Angus brand,<br />

founded in 1978 by Angus cattlemen. Our mission has<br />

remained the same since day one: To increase demand<br />

for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based<br />

branded beef program to identify consistent, high quality<br />

beef with superior taste.<br />



It might come as a surprise that I write this year’s letter<br />

filled with optimism. There’s no ignoring the challenges<br />

presented by the global pandemic, but this year is filled<br />

with opportunity too.<br />

The steer in our logo faces forward for a reason. It’s<br />

a subtle reminder of our goal to build a better beef<br />

community for everyone from gate to plate, like the<br />

vision of the ranchers who started this brand. Our vision<br />

is focused on changing and evolving to continue to excel<br />

in the future.<br />

We’re building on a truly remarkable history. Looking back,<br />

this brand has grown through a number of challenges<br />

including the BSE outbreak that crashed cattle markets and<br />

the 2008 economic recession. In fact, we were born inside a<br />

marketplace that thought lean beef was best. Overcoming<br />

challenge is part of our DNA. I’m confident that the<br />

learnings from this year give us better insights to build an<br />

even stronger, more innovative brand to serve you better.<br />

Every day I chat with people who have a stake in our<br />

success including; beef business leaders, retailers,<br />

packers, foodservice professionals, team members,<br />

community leaders and Angus ranchers. These<br />

conversations are the best part of my days. The<br />

feedback I hear is one way to affirm that we’ve made<br />

a lot of progress in growing the brand. This year, the<br />

conversations have had a different tone, one filled with<br />

tenacity, some pain, but an overwhelming commitment<br />

to get the job done no matter what was thrown our way.<br />

Consumers continue to demand high-quality beef and their<br />

expectations for how that’s delivered are expanding. We<br />

have more work to do and are making changes to support<br />

the recovery of foodservice, serve a consumer that’s become<br />

more reliant on retail and create deeper connections with<br />

each person in our value chain around the world. We are<br />

focused on operational excellence, driving that momentum<br />

through every corner of our business.<br />

We also continue to focus on our culture. It’s how<br />

we put our vision and values — the bedrock of our<br />

company, into practice. And that’s how we will achieve<br />

our goals. In order for Certified Angus Beef LLC to fulfill<br />

our vision of helping our customers succeed, it takes<br />

each team member living our values every day.<br />

It’s the people across this community who make me<br />

excited for what’s ahead. What we saw across our<br />

licensee base this year was nothing short of incredible. It<br />

was people, helping people. I’m humbled and grateful to<br />

call you partners.<br />

This brand remains strongly positioned to support your<br />

success, ready to assist in new ways and we look forward<br />

to serving you in the year ahead.<br />

President John F. Stika, Ph.D.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 1



It’s been a year that asked for a lot.<br />

Trust. Patience. Creativity.<br />

The beef business reaches far beyond the barn. My<br />

fellow cattlemen and I appreciate those of you who<br />

market, serve and sell our steaks. We are grateful for the<br />

trust you place in our families as we strive to continue<br />

providing a quality product for your business and family.<br />

To know the people and the story behind the Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand logo is something we cattlemen<br />

take pride in. It stems from the hard work done at the<br />

farm, ranch, feedyard and processing facilities, and<br />

the dedication of those marketing our beef around the<br />

world; to the knowledge behind the meat counter and<br />

the passion put on plates (or in takeout containers) at<br />

restaurants — each play a vital role on the team.<br />

This year, we’ve all had our eyes opened to how fragile<br />

the food supply chain can be. It’s admirable to witness<br />

the creative changes you made when faced with<br />

challenges. To know that you keep coming back to<br />

our beef means a lot to my fellow Angus breeders and<br />

I. Your drive, dedication and communication with the<br />

brand helps make us better. We use your feedback<br />

to make more informed decisions on the ranch when<br />

selecting genetics and managing our herds.<br />

Working together, we continue to build trust. As<br />

cattlemen, we are tasked with creating a nimble Angus<br />

breed resulting in great-tasting beef. As a brand, we<br />

have to stay on the forefront of demand and meet the<br />

needs of our customers, retailers and the foodservice<br />

businesses. Thank you for trusting our team through<br />

change and challenges this year.<br />

With eyes set on the future, we each have a hand in<br />

protecting the tradition and driving progress forward.<br />

From genetic decisions on the ranch to everything that<br />

determines the final eating experience, quality control is<br />

critical in each step.<br />

Cattlemen focus on stewarding resources in our care<br />

— land and livestock alike — for a more sustainable<br />

future the next generation can trust and look forward to.<br />

I am honored to be a part of your team and our shared<br />

commitment to quality, working together to preserve<br />

and grow the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.<br />

John Grimes<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® Board Chairman <strong>2020</strong><br />

Maplecrest Farms – Hillsboro, Ohio<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 3


AHEAD<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® brand closes<br />

Fiscal Year <strong>2020</strong> impacted by<br />

pandemic, but momentum strong<br />

in sales.<br />

It was the year no one expected. For every bump in the road,<br />

new avenues for leading business emerged — opportunity<br />

born of adversity.<br />

For the first time in 16 years, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand<br />

finished the year down in year over year comparisons, but <strong>2020</strong><br />

remains one for the history books. For the fifth consecutive<br />

year the brand marketed more than 1 billion pounds across<br />

51 countries. Global sales totaled 1.175 billion pounds, down<br />

about 6% or almost 75 million pounds.<br />

“We’re prepared and positioned today to support our<br />

partners’ business recovery and growth as we move<br />

forward,” John Stika, Certified Angus Beef ® president, says.<br />

“We’re fortunate to be in good shape because of the<br />

combined effort across our community.”<br />

Managing through widespread crisis is not unprecedented<br />

for the beef brand. In 2004, when BSE disrupted the beef<br />

industry, brand sales declined 80 million pounds, a fairly<br />

similar volume decrease for <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

pound loss in business that we experienced then translated into<br />

a 13.5% decline in both tonnage and resources compared to<br />

the 6% we’ll manage through this year,” Stika says.<br />

The brand remains stable with a steady supply, and Stika<br />

looks to the future with expectations for business growth.<br />

Reaching for Records<br />

The brand began the fiscal year in October 2019 working<br />

through lingering disruption from the packing plant fire<br />

in Kansas. That time period challenged the international<br />

business and the ability to secure retail feature activity,<br />

especially moving into the holidays.<br />

Foodservice, on the other hand, was on record pace.<br />

With a combination of manageable prices and availability in<br />

January and February, sales across all segments strengthened.<br />

This landed both months among the top 10 sales months in<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® history.<br />

March made the record books’ top 10, too.<br />

While the month saw foodservice and international business<br />

decline by 40% due to the onset of COVID-19, consumers<br />

transitioned their buying patterns. Retail business spiked, all<br />

but offsetting the decline experienced in other areas.<br />

At the peak of the pandemic in April and May, foodservice<br />

and international sales were down 72% and 64% respectively.<br />

Retail business was up almost 44%.<br />

June brought continuity reestablishing itself in the supply<br />

chain and moved into fall with two months of 100 million<br />

pounds or more.<br />

Supply Set to Meet Demand<br />

The Angus family farmers and ranchers who own and supply<br />

the Certified Angus Beef ® brand remain focused on raising<br />

cattle that meet brand standards. In <strong>2020</strong>, a record 35.9% of<br />

all Angus-influenced cattle managed to meet the brand’s 10<br />

quality specifications. Their efforts enable licensed processors,<br />

distributors, restaurateurs and retailers to consistently meet<br />

consumer demand — that remains strong in a rollercoaster year.<br />

Stika says the brand’s focus is helping meet that demand,<br />

though how diverse segments serve consumers may look<br />

different moving forward. Closing the books on <strong>2020</strong>, he’s<br />

grateful and optimistic.<br />

“For as much as we have enjoyed the past, our focus is not on<br />

saving the past,” he says. “Rather our focus will be on changing,<br />

evolving and being more flexible so that we can really excel for<br />

our partners in the future regardless of what it looks like.”<br />

Consumers continue to crave beef.<br />

That one thing remains predictable.<br />

2016<br />

2017<br />

2018<br />

2019<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

2016<br />

2017<br />

2018<br />

2019<br />

Total sales: 1.175 billion lbs. (6% decrease)<br />

RETAIL<br />

602 MILLION LBS.<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

12 %<br />


324 MILLION LBS.<br />


161 MILLION LBS.<br />

MISC*<br />

88 MILLION LBS.<br />

FISCAL <strong>2020</strong> SALES BY DIVISION<br />

*cannot be assigned to a specific division<br />


717 MILLION LBS.<br />

5.7 %<br />


23.6 %<br />

251 MILLION LBS.<br />

8.7 %<br />


22.4 %<br />

207 MILLION LBS.<br />

3.7 %<br />


8.6 % 31 MILLION LBS. 7.5 %<br />

FISCAL <strong>2020</strong> SALES BY<br />


“In 2004, total sales of Certified Angus Beef ® were roughly<br />

43% of what they are today, and as a result, that 80 million<br />

Putting all 12 months together, retail had a record year<br />

increasing by 12% while foodservice and international sales<br />

are down roughly 23%.<br />

28.9 29.7 32.5 35.0 35.9<br />

% % % % %<br />

®<br />


2017<br />

2018<br />

2019<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

3.9M 4.5M 5.2M 5.7M 5.5M<br />


2017<br />

2018<br />

2019<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

5th consecutive year over 1 billion lbs.<br />

More than 19,000 business partners worldwide.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 5




When crisis strikes, Certified Angus Beef ®<br />

partners show up to help.<br />

It was the third Sunday of March. Chef Vinnie Cimino was prepping<br />

for the sixth day of service at his brand new Cleveland restaurant,<br />

Summer House. He didn’t know it yet but the doors would not open<br />

again for months.<br />

“As far as restaurant openings go, we crushed it,” said Cimino, whose<br />

culinary resume includes famous eateries and James Beard Award<br />

winners. “We were busy, just six days in and getting a lot of positive<br />

feedback. I’ve never seen an opening go so well.”<br />

Later that Sunday, the word went out. Restaurants across Ohio would<br />

close in the early ripples of a tidal wave of COVID-19 ordinances that<br />

spread across the country. The brunt of those decisions fell on chefs and<br />

restaurateurs everywhere — no business in the foodservice supply chain<br />

would go unscathed.<br />

The year of such promise and vision had taken a very sudden turn for<br />

the worse.<br />

“This has certainly been the most challenging thing I’ve ever faced,” said<br />

Greg Janssen, Vice President at Del Monte Meats, a San Francisco<br />

resource for chefs since 1926. “Even the guys who’ve been in my network<br />

much longer say there’s never been anything like it.”<br />

But the food industry, from waitstaff all the way up the chain to farmers<br />

and ranchers, is built on resilient people. Cimino, Janssen and colleagues<br />

everywhere rose to the challenge.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 7

Chef Cimino and crew of Cleveland Family Meal.<br />

Chefs Keep Cooking<br />

In what would have been his second week open,<br />

Cimino launched Cleveland Family Meal behind<br />

those doors, where he and his kitchen crew teamed<br />

up with other prominent chefs, including Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand partners Matt Spinner and Dave<br />

Kocab from Ushabu, to provide both cooked and<br />

raw foods for other restaurant workers who were<br />

suddenly unemployed. The project began with food in<br />

the pantry, but donations from purveyors and friends<br />

quickly rolled in to where it became a movement.<br />

operation didn’t fit the to-go order model,” said the<br />

Omaha Hospitality Hall of Famer. “I knew I had food I<br />

needed to use, and once we took care of staff, I decided<br />

to put it out on social media that I would provide meals<br />

for out-of-school children who needed help and any<br />

elderly whose health might be compromised.”<br />

Intended as a on-time solution to ensure the food<br />

went to good use, donations of both product and<br />

their talents kept the initiative alive.<br />

“We acquired a lot of proteins and other products<br />

from other chefs who didn’t want their food to go<br />

to waste,” Wheeler said. “So we started cooking and<br />

serving the homeless and out-of-work restaurant<br />

folks and, quite frankly, anybody who was in need of<br />

a meal in these times. I had Dan Watts from Sysco<br />

Lincoln smoking slabs of ribs, Blaine Hunter from<br />

Porky Butts BBQ smoked pork shoulders and Jacobson<br />

Fish donated 30 pounds of yellowfin tuna that I<br />

transformed into tuna sandwiches. A lot of really great<br />

people were involved.”<br />

In Miami, Fla., Chef Peter Vauthy from RED, The<br />

Steakhouse, Carla DiLorenzo from Los Tanitos<br />

and the crew at Okeechobee Steakhouse kept their<br />

kitchens running in part by cooking for first responders<br />

and healthcare workers.<br />

In Houston, Taste of Texas, Republic Grille and Sysco<br />

Houston all went to great lengths to feed hospital<br />

staff, police and fire personnel working round the<br />

clock. Texas icons Tom and Lisa Perini from Perini<br />

Ranch in Buffalo Gap donated thousands of dollars in<br />

steaks to their local food pantry to help with an evergrowing<br />

need.<br />

Foodservice Fights for<br />

Restaurant Survival<br />

Restaurants closing or adapting to lower-volume<br />

alternatives left foodservice distributors in a difficult<br />

place, much of their customer base diminished or<br />

gone without warning.<br />

Many could sell inventories to retailers facing heavy<br />

demand, but then the distributors looked for ways to<br />

keep their staff employed.<br />

Buckhead and its parent company Sysco helped<br />

restaurants across the country transform into “pop-up<br />

shops,” or corner stores with all the foodstuffs and<br />

paper products that quarantined people might need.<br />

North of the border, Gordon Food Services Canada<br />

launched a website in partnership with Restaurant<br />

Canada as a one-stop resource for restaurants trying<br />

to shift their business models and stay afloat.<br />

Independently owned meat shops also worked with<br />

restaurant customers to help their businesses during<br />

the transition to carryout and catering options.<br />

“Once it started hitting the fan, we needed to figure<br />

out how we were going to react,” said Edward Hall of<br />

Lone Star Meats in Austin. “We found some homes<br />

for product at retail, and then we figured out which of<br />

our restaurant partners were staying open. A lot of our<br />

restaurants have very loyal followings, so we started<br />

making pre-made care packages at different price levels<br />

for them to sell on.”<br />

Lone Star joined in the growing trend of creating directto-consumer<br />

websites that helped stabilize revenues and<br />

kept people on the payroll.<br />

“Fortunately, we jumped on pretty quick, got some<br />

systems in place and got everyone going,” said Addam<br />

Evans of Evans Meats in Birmingham, Ala., and<br />

donated a percentage of all direct-to-consumer revenue<br />

to independent restaurant partners affected by COVID-<br />

19. “There are a lot of people out there scrapping, and it<br />

kept some revenue coming in.”<br />

Evans initially started a curbside program for pickup<br />

at his company’s warehouse; as it evolved, he sent five<br />

trucks around the city to set up as more accessible,<br />

mobile curbside units.<br />

“Hospitality is what defines our industry, so<br />

that’s what we did,” said Cimino. “Be hospitable,<br />

show hospitality and cook. This has been what I<br />

do to occupy my time, and to focus on the good<br />

rather than dwelling on the bad. We’ll keep<br />

feeding people until we can’t anymore.”<br />

Charleston, S.C., Pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo<br />

from Swig & Swine committed thousands of dollars<br />

in local grocery-store gift cards to his out-of-work<br />

employees, while his business shifted to takeout<br />

only. Across the state, his friend Joe Urban, who<br />

oversees Nutrition Services at Greenville County<br />

Schools, continued to push out 25,000 meals per<br />

day for students in his school district, even though<br />

in-person classes had been suspended.<br />

In Omaha, local restaurant icon Glenn Wheeler of<br />

Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops found himself with<br />

a walk-in cooler filled with perishables. With the<br />

help of friends and other chefs in the city, Wheeler<br />

put together a robust plan to address growing needs<br />

in the community.<br />

“The order came down that Omaha restaurants had<br />

to be closed to no more than 10 people, and our<br />

“For many of the 77,000 students in our district,<br />

the meals they receive during school are the only<br />

substantive nutrition,” Urban said. It helped many<br />

families, not having to pay for meals when money is<br />

tight; for others, just knowing they could get food at<br />

all was life preserving.<br />

“We all know there is poverty in our communities, but<br />

most have no clue as to how severe that actually is for<br />

some families,” Urban said.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 9

Retailers Respond<br />

Grocery stores and employees were deemed essential<br />

to the public well-being, a mixed blessing that soon<br />

inundated the sector with panic-driven demand from<br />

consumers making long-term plans.<br />

Pushed to work round the clock just to try keeping their<br />

shelves stocked, retail food employees were on the front<br />

lines as much as any emergency personnel.<br />

Meijer stores across several Midwestern states expanded<br />

its efforts to give back and support local communities.<br />

The retail giant’s signature Simply Give program, which<br />

generated more than $50 million since 2008 for local<br />

food pantries, donated an additional $2.2 million in<br />

<strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Price Chopper stores in Kansas City took a creative<br />

approach to maintaining stocked shelves, such as<br />

working “across the aisle” with those who typically source<br />

products for foodservice customers. The chain also<br />

returned $250,000 to its community through a donation<br />

to Harvesters Community Food Network, helping those<br />

most affected by the pandemic.<br />

It’s not every day that a major Hollywood filmmaker and<br />

actor picks up the tab for groceries. But for a group of<br />

seniors and high-risk shoppers at 29 Louisiana Winn-<br />

Dixie stores, that’s exactly what happened when Tyler<br />

Perry decided to spread some kindness.<br />

Inspired by his example, Winn-Dixie’s parent company,<br />

Southeastern Grocers, elected to pay it forward by<br />

paying for the groceries of thousands of healthcare<br />

professionals and first responders shopping in stores<br />

across seven states.<br />

“As a community, we are stronger together and will<br />

win together with kindness,” said Anthony Hucker,<br />

president and CEO. “Southeastern Grocers is<br />

dedicated to being there for the community when they<br />

need us the most, and we believe there is no better<br />

time than now.”<br />

In Oklahoma, Reasor’s hosted a Spring for Meals<br />

Fund and Food Drive, as a benefit for the Community<br />

Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and its network of<br />

350 partner organizations, while St. Louis bastion<br />

Schnucks donated more than $500,000 to support<br />

those in the region affected by the pandemic. It also<br />

launched a Round Up at the Register campaign,<br />

inviting shoppers to pay it forward through their<br />

donations to the local United Way.<br />

There may be no greater testament to the goodness<br />

of humanity, in a year that could be measured<br />

against history for all the wrong reasons, than<br />

the seemingly endless examples of people helping<br />

people. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand salutes these<br />

and the countless others who have made this world<br />

a better place in extremely challenging times.<br />


This year asked us to do a lot of<br />

things differently.<br />

The brand expanded communication with<br />

partners, got creative with advertising efforts<br />

and created resources to use from anywhere.<br />

<strong>Brand</strong> Bites email newsletters were sent<br />

with added frequency and more tools<br />

crafted for folks in distribution, retail,<br />

foodservice and restaurant businesses to<br />

use. The team also started <strong>Brand</strong> Bites on<br />

Demand, a monthly video deep-dive into<br />

trends and tools for distributors.<br />

“Great info — fantastic way of reaching<br />

out to everyone, keeping us informed<br />

and abreast of what is happening in this<br />

changing environment,” as Juan Lopez of<br />

Sysco Atlanta put it. “I’m looking forward<br />

to the next episode!”<br />

Digital chef chats on social media and<br />

Zoom calls, along with online marketing<br />

and carryout resources increased outreach<br />

to restaurants.<br />

“It was hard to know how we could help our<br />

restaurant partners enough through these<br />

challenging times. We were here<br />

and standing ready with resources when<br />

they needed us,” says Deanna Walenciak,<br />

vice president of brand marketing.<br />

The 30-second “Rare Moments Done Well” TV<br />

commercial was reimagined as “Rare Moments<br />

Done Differently” when the global pandemic<br />

made at-home activities the new normal.<br />

Numbers drive decisions. This year’s<br />

advertising campaigns followed the data<br />

and placed ads where people engaged most<br />

with media. In Milwaukee, audio spots<br />

found placement on Pandora’s streaming<br />

service, while in Green Bay they played on the<br />

radio. Consumer behavior insights like that<br />

determine strategic media spends around the<br />

country, connecting with customers in the<br />

best place at the right time.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 11


LEGACY<br />

The father of the<br />

brand’s<br />

specifications<br />

led with<br />

conviction.<br />

Industrywide change requires people with a special kind<br />

of persistence.<br />

It takes data and drive.<br />

To launch the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, Bobby “Dr.<br />

Bob” VanStavern was one such man.<br />

brand, the meat scientist had the answers they were<br />

searching for.<br />

“I kept my research data in my bottom drawer,” he<br />

recalled in 2019. “So I hauled out this packet of carcass<br />

research data that tended to say what the specifications<br />

should be.”<br />

Bob believed it did,” says John Stika, the brand’s<br />

president. “He believed that it did, and was persistent<br />

in communicating it.”<br />

He continued sharing the science for 25 years as a<br />

consultant to the brand and his push for better beef<br />

became the new watchword.<br />

As a meat scientist in Extension outreach at The Ohio<br />

State University, VanStavern consulted food business<br />

leaders. He heard their calls for consistent, superior<br />

beef, yet “lean” was the watchword of the late 1970s.<br />

VanStavern didn’t buy it. His research showed why<br />

consumers enjoy eating beef: taste.<br />

When Mick Colvin and Fred Johnson approached him<br />

on behalf of cattlemen forming the original Angus beef<br />

Modest or higher marbling. Limits for maturity, yield,<br />

marbling texture and lean color. The same specifications<br />

the brand, its partners and consumers worldwide rely on<br />

today for the best beef.<br />

With VanStavern guiding its meat science, the first<br />

Angus beef brand became the benchmark for quality.<br />

“He presented the specifications for different audiences<br />

and was told it didn’t hold the kind of credibility Dr.<br />

Dr. Bob passed away in February <strong>2020</strong>, leaving behind<br />

his beloved family and a vast community of brand friends<br />

who believe in the quality framework he established.<br />

“You see Dr. Bob’s fingerprints every time we give the<br />

Science Behind the Sizzle presentation and in every great<br />

steak,” Stika says. “Our product quality and consistency<br />

is a reflection of his career, of his impact on this brand<br />

and across the industry.”<br />

Dr. Bob VanStavern<br />

Father of the specifications<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 13

His legacy lives on in the meat scientists<br />

who continue to communicate the<br />

science today and support partners who<br />

bring the brand to market.<br />

“He set the foundation and pointed<br />

us in the best direction,” says Diana<br />

Clark, meat scientist for the brand.<br />

“We have the best beef out there. We<br />

continue honoring him by challenging<br />

ourselves to always make it better.”<br />

Lessons he shared still ring true, even<br />

in tough times. His persistence urged<br />

the brand’s founders and partners<br />

forward: never say it can’t be done.<br />

Quality matters. Believe the data.<br />

Be persistent.<br />

Share your beliefs with conviction,<br />

helping others along the way. Dr. Bob<br />

always did.<br />

Listen to the Meat Speak podcast episode,<br />

and read more about Dr. Bob and the<br />

mentorship established in his honor with<br />

the American Meat Science Association.<br />

“Things he advocated for seem<br />

commonplace today, because 40<br />

years later, others are touting<br />

quality in the marketplace.<br />

Because of Dr. Bob’s solid<br />

opinion and willingness to<br />

defend it, there’s an entire<br />

industry today that gets it.”<br />

— John Stika, Certified Angus Beef ® President<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 15

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 17

Impressions Across Social Platforms<br />

SOCIAL CHANNEL <strong>2020</strong><br />


Building common ground on social media.<br />

From ranch pastures to home kitchens, social media connects beef eaters<br />

around the world. Trending digital isn’t new, but increased dramatically<br />

as stay-at-home orders meant added screen time.<br />

“Everyone was eager for a connection and social media was the place<br />

people turned,” says Margaret Coleman, the brand’s director of<br />

digital platforms. “It’s our job to figure out how we can entertain,<br />

educate and engage.”<br />

Simply great beef, fun recipes and friendly faces filled the brand<br />

channels, teaching how to cook with a pandemic pantry. Really fresh<br />

faces and locations appeared in videos as chefs recruited their kids to<br />

help film from home kitchens, creating meals and relatable moments the<br />

whole family could enjoy.<br />

Positive and inspiring content made kitchen mastery within easy reach,<br />

home tables a bit fuller. A few taps on a phone screen and there was a<br />

chef, ready to collaborate on solutions — or a rancher providing a tour<br />

of the family farm.<br />

It sparked conversations.<br />

Questions about how cattle are raised and new ideas for dinner were<br />

delivered. CertifiedAngusBeef.com visits increased 40% year over year,<br />

with recipes the most-wanted content. More than 380,000 people<br />

virtually visited a ranch by watching on Facebook Live.<br />

The team waiting just a tap away made online interactions feel familiar.<br />

There’s always someone behind the logo on the screen, ready to share in<br />

home-cooking triumphs and answer all beef-related inquiries.<br />

“Our direct messages feel like you are texting with a friend,” says Paige<br />

Clayton, digital marketing specialist.<br />

Each day, the team thoughtfully responds to every comment, question<br />

and string of emojis posted across the brand’s social channels,<br />

connecting around the globe.<br />

Making the world feel smaller, one click, tap or page scroll<br />

at a time.<br />

Facebook<br />

Twitter<br />

Instagram<br />

Pinterest<br />

YouTube<br />

LinkedIn<br />

Web (<strong>2020</strong> page views - recipes & kitchen)<br />

90.7M<br />

1.2M<br />

13.7M<br />

33.0M<br />

28.4M<br />

548,014<br />

9.3M<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 19

BONJOUR!<br />


Saying hello to global connectivity<br />

through new media.<br />

Where the Certified Angus Beef ® brand<br />

family gathers, authentic and creative<br />

flavors collide. The brand’s international<br />

team empowers partners to bring a global<br />

perspective to the table.<br />

“While we aren’t able to physically sit at the same<br />

table together, connecting and engaging resilient<br />

partners is part of the team’s strategy for success,” says<br />

Gebran Charbine, vice president of brand marketing,<br />

international and multicultural.<br />

It’s a recipe worth repeating.<br />

“We want to make something from scratch and build<br />

something together that’s infused with the best of<br />

everyone,” says Charbine. “That’s how we enhance our<br />

multicultural marketing message.”<br />

The brand serves 51 countries outside of the<br />

United States. Canada leads the way in sales<br />

followed by Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong,<br />

Mexico and Taiwan, respectively.<br />

¡Hola!<br />

As the world diversifies and cultures collide, the team<br />

looks for new ways to connect on a more personal level<br />

with partners. Almost 50% of the brand’s Instagram and<br />

over 10% of the Facebook following are Spanish speakers.<br />

“We were looking at a way to be able to connect with<br />

consumers, especially our Latin or Spanish-speaking<br />

consumers, both outside and inside the United<br />

States,” says Charbine. “We have partners in 12 Latin<br />

American or Spanish-speaking countries and a great<br />

opportunity to reach domestic Spanish-speaking<br />

consumers.”<br />

The team launched CertifiedAngusBeef.lat in<br />

September as a 100% Spanish resource, to empower<br />

and engage consumers and partners looking to<br />

connect with the brand.<br />

“It’s about being an experience,” shares Charbine.<br />

“Whether it’s a Latin or a Japanese experience, we<br />

want to be a part of it to help elevate the experience<br />

with flavor, tenderness and juiciness.”<br />

Recipes that are region specific, tools to learn beef<br />

cuts and cooking methods, where to buy beef and<br />

educational materials are resources that land on the<br />

new website.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 21

Translation + Creation<br />

Transcreation is changing text to make its meaning<br />

culturally appropriate for a target market.<br />

The bulk of the international beef tonnage goes<br />

to Asia, Canada or Mexico. Today, the Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand logo has been transcreated<br />

from English to French for the Quebec province in<br />

Canada, Japanese with phonetic translation, and<br />

Simplified Mandarin for mainland China.<br />

“Transcreating our brand name and logo allows us<br />

to connect with consumers,” Charbine says. “Not<br />

one shoe size fits all and we have to be open to not<br />

only translating but creating a logo and marketing<br />

that fits their lifestyle.”<br />

Tuning In<br />

It was 6 a.m. in Ohio but 7 p.m. in Japan.<br />

Instagram was live with a chef partner, Fumio<br />

Yonezawa and influencer Kumkio Obinata took<br />

to the social channel to draw local customers to<br />

purchase Certified Angus Beef ® and cook with them<br />

from home.<br />

This wasn’t the only social interaction across the<br />

ocean. Partners in Taiwan, Asia, the Middle East and<br />

Latin America all took to Instagram to connect with<br />

their customers and the brand.<br />

“Our Latin America partners elevated the<br />

social connections through the pandemic,”<br />

says Charbine.<br />

A highlight for him was the first Spanish Instagram<br />

live with Alejandro Guiterrez, president of Sociedad<br />

Mexicana De Parrilleros. The virtual field trip went<br />

to a local HEB to pick out Certified Angus Beef ®<br />

product with the help of meat scientists from the<br />

brand to help answer questions.<br />

“We’ve seen a great shift into buying online with<br />

people being quarantined around the globe and<br />

countries shutting down,” shares Charbine. “The<br />

only thing that kept consumers connected was the<br />

web. Their shopping habits moved there too. This<br />

was an opportunity for the brand and our team to<br />

come and look at it holistically and say, ‘How can<br />

we elevate our digital approach?’”<br />

Business Evolves<br />

Adversity shines through challenging times.<br />

International partners embrace the business shift<br />

with open minds and creative hands.<br />

“It’s not about the pounds. It’s about seeing how<br />

our partners responded,” says Cody Jones, vice<br />

president of international for the brand. “The<br />

challenges we faced reminded us we work with the<br />

best global partners.”<br />

With a bit of tenacity and ingenuity, international<br />

partners embraced ecommerce and direct delivery<br />

to consumers, meal kits and connecting virtually.<br />

“It seemed as though the tougher things got, the<br />

more determined our partners became,” says Jones.<br />

Today, the wheels are turning again. The virtual<br />

world provides extra opportunities for partners<br />

around the world to interact with the brand.<br />

“While we can’t wait until we can hop on a plane<br />

and visit each other, virtual trainings have given<br />

our partners an opportunity to experience the<br />

brand without a 15-24 hour plane ride,” shares<br />

Jones. “It’s been extremely powerful.”<br />

Thanks to translators and Zoom features, the<br />

virtual experience can be made extra special with<br />

the instant translation that can happen for any<br />

partner, regardless of the language.<br />

With a little tenacity, it’s possible to thrive and<br />

connect. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 23


You don’t have to look far to find Certified Angus Beef ®<br />

loyalists around the globe. Their enthusiasm deserves<br />

extra perks.<br />

That’s why the Steakholder Rewards brand loyalty<br />

program launched in February to connect consumers<br />

and their beef purchases, rewarding social media<br />

engagement and feedback to the brand. Its points for<br />

extras beyond great-tasting beef that can be redeemed<br />

for branded merchandise like steak knives and grilling<br />

tools or sweepstakes for unique culinary experiences.<br />

“This is a way for us to engage on a deeper level with<br />

our consumer, and learn more about our biggest brand<br />

fans,” says Christy Johnson, vice president of branding.<br />



More than 1,500 members joined the rewards<br />

program in the eight months since it began. Currently<br />

it’s available in the U.S. and Canada, the latter<br />

accounting for 6% of membership.<br />

Advertising for the program began in August <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

spurring exponential growth in the final months of the<br />

fiscal year.<br />

“We are excited to see where this program goes and<br />

grows,” Johnson says.<br />

Many independent retailers took notice, promoting the<br />

loyalty program as if it was their own.<br />

“Steakholder Rewards is an avenue for a special<br />

connection and positive experience with our brand,”<br />

says Megan Besancon, associate manager of consumer<br />

loyalty and advertising. “It gives consumers another<br />

reason for our beef to be a part of their lifestyle and<br />

culinary aspirations.”<br />

Monthly communications with Steakholders include<br />

new recipes, the story behind the beef and tips for<br />

cooking to perfection.<br />

Uploading a receipt is the fastest and easiest way to<br />

earn points. Members also earn points for completing<br />

activities in the Roast Perfect app, like using the timer<br />

or completing the Roasting Quiz.<br />

Engagement generates value, too. Members who<br />

complete a survey including their favorite cut and<br />

degree of doneness earn extra.<br />

Let’s just say our loyalists love a ribeye, medium rare.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 25




A new era of regenerative thinking<br />

makes the Certified Angus Beef ® brand<br />

even better.<br />

The way the water flows through the pasture is strategically designed.<br />

Tight, barbed-wire fences are precisely kept. Bee boxes feel as ordinary as<br />

the pine trees, home for insects that pollinate the ranch. A hawk leaves<br />

the sky landing gently on its perch, placed there decisively, long before he<br />

thought to rest his wings.<br />

Nothing is done without specific purpose at Wilson Cattle Company.<br />

Each generation adds their mark, compounding to make what began as<br />

a homestead, better.<br />

It’s a philosophy: one plus one should always equal more than two.<br />

Cattle, of course, are a critical part of the equation, but people, they are<br />

the multipliers.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 27

The Ranch<br />

He looks a little more East Coast than his western<br />

cowboy genes. The sixth generation to manage<br />

the land, Zach Wilson is a modern cattleman. As<br />

comfortable behind a computer screen as in the<br />

pasture, he leads a natural resource-first ranch,<br />

using science as his guide. Like his ancestors,<br />

he’s on a mission to amplify his resources and<br />

make things better.<br />

“If it’s good for the little bugs in the soil, or the<br />

migratory birds or larger mammals like elk or deer,<br />

even rodents, it’s going to be good for the cattle,”<br />

he says.<br />

It’s a high road that takes discipline.<br />

“Our job is to work with Mother Nature,” he says.<br />

“She knows best. We try to figure out the best<br />

incentives for what is going to help her be her<br />

most productive self.”<br />

Riparian barriers, waterfowl habitat and soil<br />

microbiology aren’t just feel-good projects.<br />

They are strategic investments to raise better beef,<br />

more efficiently.<br />

He points to an elevated bird box, “Some goose<br />

pair has probably been coming here for 15 years,<br />

raising their goslings and then moving on.”<br />

Their droppings fertilize the soil. He sees each<br />

detail as a part of the greater system and the right<br />

investment can have compounding benefits. His<br />

job is steward of it all.<br />

“It means a lot to me to take care of the land. Six<br />

generations on this land means a lot of people<br />

have put a lot of sweat equity into it and I want<br />

to make sure that I’m treating it the way it should<br />

be treated,” says Wilson. “Feeding the world with<br />

what we do, I take that to heart.”<br />

This philosophy extends to Beef Northwest where<br />

the cattle that leave his ranch are fed.<br />

The two entities are halves of the same family business.<br />

Wilson’s cattle harvest the grass in Baker Valley,<br />

Oregon, while Beef Northwest, started by the fifth<br />

generation of the Wilson family, expands the enterprise<br />

feeding cattle throughout the Pacific Northwest.<br />

It’s a symbiotic relationship, both dependent on<br />

each other.<br />

The Feedyard<br />

Eastern Oregon isn’t known for cattle feeding. Far<br />

from the cornbelt and Midwestern plains, feeding<br />

cattle here allows them to harness the resource the<br />

landscape does offer: potatoes.<br />

“We’re trying to make high-quality beef that’s<br />

wholesome,” says Pete Szasz, feedyard manager.<br />

“You don’t do that without quality ingredients, no<br />

matter how hard you try.”<br />

The feedyard sits just down the freeway from french<br />

fry factories. The highly nutritious carbohydrate<br />

is palatable and provides energy, so leftover tater<br />

tots, fries and jojos become an ingredient in highquality<br />

cattle feed.<br />

“If we weren’t here to utilize the potatoes, they would<br />

end up in a landfill,” Szasz explains. “That’s where they<br />

were going prior to us being in the area.”<br />

It’s a business that’s less transactional, more relational<br />

built on motivating people to do the right thing.<br />

“I believe the quality of the beef that comes out<br />

of Beef Northwest is directly related to the quality<br />

of the people,” says Wes Killion, chief operating<br />

officer. “It’s a window into the company that goes<br />

with every aspect, be it environmental stewardship,<br />

animal health, animal performance or consumer<br />

eating experience.”<br />

Riders trot with purpose through the cattle on<br />

horseback, communicating via mailboxes at the<br />

end of the pen rows. Their path is mapped<br />

using GPS and drone technology for precise<br />

nutrient management and a responsible water<br />

run-off strategy. Each animal they check has<br />

electronic identification in its ear, the feed<br />

quality control tested.<br />

Growing and equipping leaders through their<br />

internship program is key to sustaining the culture<br />

of cowboys and cutting-edge technology — a<br />

commitment to excellence in every chore.<br />

Sustainable Beef<br />

This dedication earned the sister organizations<br />

the first-ever Certified Angus Beef ® Sustainability<br />

Commitment to Excellence Award.<br />

“The more we can take care of the environment,<br />

the better opportunity there is for a better outcome<br />

for the cattle, be it health or performance as well<br />

as quality,” Killion says.<br />

Like most Angus ranches, Beef Northwest was<br />

focused on sustainability way before it was cool.<br />

“Anytime you cut into a steak, that animal took<br />

something from this ground and is now nourishing<br />

you, but it also put a lot back into the ground<br />

while it was here,” says Wilson. “Everything’s<br />

connected, it’s all a system.”<br />

The new award is one piece of the brand’s bigger<br />

commitment to sustainability. As an active<br />

member of the U.S. and Canadian Roundtables<br />

for Sustainable Beef, the brand works to continue<br />

progress. While cattlemen do their part on the<br />

ranch and feedyard, the brand invests in action<br />

across the industry supporting a better beef system.<br />

Because sustainability isn’t just about the end product,<br />

the ranch or the feedyard — it’s everyone in between.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 29


Hurricanes, floods, fires and blizzards.<br />

Working with Mother Nature is a chore in<br />

the best of times. For farmers and ranchers<br />

who find themselves in the aftermath of<br />

a natural disaster, the devastation of a<br />

lifetime’s work is overwhelming.<br />

Lee Crock, Angus cattleman from<br />

Mechanicsville, Iowa, experienced that<br />

after a derecho storm (land hurricane)<br />

in August.<br />

“I got a call from my daughter and she said,<br />

‘Dad you need to come home… there’s<br />

been a lot of damage to our farm.’ I pulled<br />

in and hardly recognized the place,”<br />

he said.<br />

In 10 minutes, their farm suffered nearly a<br />

million dollars in damage.<br />

When wildfire season hit, ranchers across<br />

the West felt his pain too.<br />

In Washington, Dale Smith raises Angus<br />

cattle on the same ground his family has<br />

ranched for more than a century. Wildfires<br />

this year took all his pasture, hay and 300<br />

of his cows.<br />

He didn’t lose faith.<br />

“We’re cattlemen, we raise cows,” Smith<br />

said. “It’s what we do and what we will<br />

always do.”<br />

The tenacity of ranchers like these inspired<br />

the Certified Angus Beef ® Rural Relief Fund.<br />

Launched in 2019, the fund helps producers<br />

recover and rebuild after natural disasters.<br />

Donations and sales of Sheltering Generations<br />

— The American Barn coffee table book<br />

produced by the brand raised $20,000.<br />

Funds were used to support farming and<br />

ranching families affected by these two<br />

extreme weather events and build resources to<br />

help others in the future.<br />

To purchase the book or donate visit:<br />

shop.CertifiedAngusBeef.com.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 31



Creativity helps<br />

foodservice persevere.<br />

The hustle and bustle of restaurant kitchens ceased.<br />

Some for a moment. Some are silent still.<br />

Prime Cincinnati Steakhouse<br />

In an instant, the nature of foodservice changed<br />

forever. The effects of the pandemic brought rapid<br />

evolution to every aspect of business.<br />

Nimble restaurants quickly turned to takeout and<br />

delivery only, eventually to limited dine-in. Following<br />

a record February, boxes of beef sat idle. Distributors<br />

acted quickly to adapt.<br />

“Foodservice has never worked so hard to sell such<br />

little product,” says Sara Scott, Certified Angus Beef ® vice<br />

president of foodservice. “Like any time when adversity<br />

strikes, the most creative businesses are the ones that<br />

will endure. It’s going to be a slow grind back, but I<br />

can’t think of any group more innovative and driven<br />

than our partners.”<br />

Signs of innovation, resiliency and hope pull the<br />

community forward.<br />

Seizing Opportunity<br />

The lights are on and diners seated again. The iconic<br />

Prime Cincinnati steakhouse draws people in for Prime<br />

and dry-aged steaks.<br />

“Our Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime steaks continue<br />

to be the most popular items,” said Nelson Castillo,<br />

managing partner of Prime Cincinnati and Street City Pub.<br />

“We have the filet, New York strip and dry-aged on our<br />

dine-in menu. Our Jack Burger has actually been really<br />

popular because we’ve moved it to our appetizer menu.”<br />

After switching overnight to online only in March, nearly all<br />

business is dine-in today, still at 50% capacity since May.<br />

For returning restaurant goers, taste and food quality<br />

remain the top priority according to <strong>Brand</strong>watch<br />

Consumer Trends <strong>2020</strong> and the Simon-Kucher<br />

Restaurant Survey, ranking above restaurant<br />

cleanliness in today’s marketplace.<br />

“When service and experience change so drastically,<br />

quality becomes an even bigger factor in customer<br />

satisfaction,” says Scott. “Now is not the time to find<br />

cost savings by cutting quality.”<br />

Consumers also sought the brand’s Prime and<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 33

dry-aged cuts for restaurant experiences at home.<br />

Progressive distributors and restaurants looked beyond<br />

middle meats to elevate quality and reached consumers<br />

through new channels.<br />

For decades, Miami Purveyors resisted direct-toconsumer<br />

sales. Now, there was no time to waste.<br />

Restaurants embraced ecommerce, too.<br />

“We had a tenured and committed team to protect,”<br />

says Taly Rosenberg, vice president of finance and<br />

administration. “Our consumers are overwhelmed by<br />

the restaurant-quality products we are delivering so<br />

this has been a valuable expansion for us.”<br />

At the same time, Miami Purveyors adjusted to<br />

restaurateurs’ new in-house pantry sales, fresh meat<br />

sales, meal kits and private chef offerings. When<br />

outdoor dining and 50% capacity opened for dine-in,<br />

consumers wasted no time visiting their favorite spots.<br />

“We are now balancing our direct-to-consumer<br />

business while continuing service to our foodservice<br />

customers as their volume returns to pre-pandemic<br />

levels,” says Rosenberg. “We are very prepared to do<br />

both exceptionally well.”<br />

Both avenues allow distributors to diversify sales,<br />

as specialty meat and broadline companies help<br />

restaurateurs maximize takeout and entice consumers<br />

for dine-in.<br />

Cost-Saving Without<br />

Compromise<br />

Inventive solutions guide restaurant recovery,<br />

according to Adrienne Moncrief, director of<br />

foodservice council for Cleveland Research, who<br />

spoke during Annual Conference.<br />

items, like the burgers and cheesesteaks at Wing N<br />

Burger Factory across Georgia.<br />

“The one ingredient is beef. That’s all we need to<br />

say,” according to Robert Bales, vice president and<br />

COO of the PK Restaurant Group. The Philly meat<br />

also offers a higher yield for better portion size and<br />

guest satisfaction.<br />

Serving one cut in multiple applications also adds<br />

efficiency for chefs.<br />

The City Square Steakhouse, Wooster, Ohio,<br />

serves the sirloin for a main entrée, kid’s steak,<br />

entrée salad, steak and fries, and occasional pasta<br />

dish. Oak Steakhouses, from Atlanta to D.C.,<br />

merchandise the entire tenderloin as center-cut<br />

filet, on the mixed grill plate, smaller bistro steaks,<br />

steak frites, steak tartare, carpaccio, Bolognese<br />

and burger grinds.<br />

“Restaurateurs and distributors are working hard<br />

to outpace recovery, and are doing it with the<br />

best beef,” Scott says. “Foodservice people are<br />

committed to a love for food, feeding people and<br />

bringing them together.”<br />

Eating out is a part of American culture that hasn’t<br />

changed. It’s just delivered differently.<br />



“They want simplicity in execution, operations, service<br />

speed and efficiency, and a good way of doing that is<br />

value-added products,” Moncrief says.<br />

For dine-in, takeout and delivery, value-added<br />

smoked brisket, fajita meat, cooked pot roast,<br />

cooked short ribs and shaved steak save time and<br />

labor, so restaurateurs can focus on profit centers,<br />

signature dishes and guest experience.<br />

A new cost calculator in the <strong>Brand</strong> Builder app<br />

aligns dollars and sense with choosing the most<br />

profitable items, whether fresh or value-added.<br />

Restaurants also build their concepts around the<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 35


Virtual experiences for marketing<br />

training reimagined.<br />

It’s personal. Adapting, engaging and intuitive, it’s gone digital. Handson<br />

experiences and handshakes evolved into live Q&A and the wave of<br />

hands across Zoom screens from home offices.<br />

Relationships deepen, communication expands to reach more, more<br />

frequently. Turnkey resources for an evolving marketplace in motion.<br />

Networks of like-minded individuals, sounding boards of experts and<br />

trusted professionals collaborate to spark creativity and ingenuity when<br />

challenge strikes.<br />

Meeting people where they are with what they need — that’s modern<br />

marketing for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.<br />

Hosting groups in the brand’s Culinary Center is nothing new. The<br />

tangible knowledge folks walk out with after their time in the Meat Lab<br />

and kitchen are more than bright and shiny — it’s an experience unlike<br />

any other.<br />

Bringing together partners from around the globe, the brand hosted 58<br />

events in the first six months of the fiscal year, prior to changes brought<br />

on by COVID-19.<br />

“This is a great moment of virtual<br />

engagement. I’m impressed, but not<br />

surprised. You and your team always<br />

do a great job in these trainings.<br />

Shouldn’t be surprised you guys<br />

would nail it in the virtual world.”<br />

— Joel Walker, USFS Denver Launch<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 37

Virtually Best in Class<br />

Many things can’t be delivered through a computer<br />

screen. It’s impossible to replace the touch, taste and<br />

feel of a brand event in person. But you don’t know<br />

how close you can come if you never try.<br />

Creating a virtual Culinary Center experience has been<br />

an idea for some time. The current situation made it a<br />

top priority.<br />

The online format means new experiences for those<br />

who’ve never made the trek to Wooster, Ohio’s beef<br />

hub. Online trainings, “Live from the Culinary Center”<br />

and large-scale events are all part of how the brand<br />

learned to connect through a screen.<br />

What was planned as a 10-day affair in Wooster<br />

evolved into a “Live from the Culinary Center” event<br />

for more than 400 Giant Eagle retail staff in just a few<br />

hours one afternoon in September.<br />

Meat scientists Daniel and Diana Clark fabricated beef<br />

in front of the camera. Mandy and Aaron Atterholt<br />

gave a pasture tour on their farm with live Q&A, while<br />

the account manager helped moderate, standing by<br />

for account-specific questions.<br />

It’s an experience replicated for groups large and small.<br />

“There are positives to find in the change around us,”<br />

says brand president John Stika. “And I believe the<br />

‘Live from the Culinary Center’ trainings will be an<br />

incredible asset for all of us moving forward.”<br />

The brand also hosted Annual Conference virtually for<br />

the first time, with a record attendance of more than<br />

1,100 active online for the two-day event.<br />

“This virtual training was<br />

praised by our field leadership for<br />

succinctly covering key aspects<br />

while still bringing the same level<br />

of excitement and passion to our<br />

associates that we would expect<br />

from a face-to-face event.”<br />

— Crystal Ackerman, Senior Director, Meat<br />

& Seafood, Southeastern Grocers, Inc.<br />

Turnkey training modules were created as part of the<br />

virtual resource hub. The team launched “Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand University: Retail” in August to help<br />

those at the meat counter answer questions about<br />

the brand and the beef in their case. The goal is to be<br />

engaging, authentic and real without the background<br />

noise and mute button hiccups.<br />

“We aren’t just another Zoom call,” says Deanna<br />

Walenciak, vice president of brand marketing. “We<br />

invested in new equipment and technology to better<br />

serve our partners and meet their needs, virtually.”<br />

They’ve yet to discover how to deliver the flavors via<br />

a screen, but in the meantime partners can expect a<br />

virtual experience just as high quality.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 39


With consumer attention on<br />

the meat case, retailers elevate<br />

the experience.<br />

What’s for dinner tonight?<br />

The daily query prompted fresh answers this year. As<br />

options waned, grocery stores stepped up to deliver.<br />

People craved beef. Since this spring, they came to enjoy<br />

it more and more in their own home-cooked meals.<br />

That led to 602 million pounds of Certified Angus<br />

Beef ® cuts sold at meat counters this year, a 12%<br />

annual increase. Favored steaks when dining<br />

out — ribeye, strip, tenderloin and top sirloin —<br />

increased 14%, closely matched in rising popularity<br />

by ground beef.<br />

Signs of innovation, resiliency and hope pull the<br />

community forward.<br />

Timing Prime<br />

Flavor still reigns supreme, carving out opportunity<br />

for luxury beef. Weis Markets introduced Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand Prime for summer grilling in 200<br />

Northeastern stores.<br />

“More customers want high-end, restaurant-quality beef<br />

than ever before,” said Weis Markets Director of Meat,<br />

Doug Becker. “We patiently waited for the right time and<br />

it has been very well received.”<br />

He anticipates Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime<br />

demand growing in the coming months, right into<br />

summer 2021.<br />

“Customers know the product is special as soon as they<br />

walk in the store and arrive at the meat case,” said David<br />

O’Diam, Certified Angus Beef ® vice president of retail.<br />

Marinated steaks, case-ready burgers, heat-and-serve<br />

entrées and corned beef offer variety and convenience<br />

for home-cooked meals. QFC stores, based in Seattle,<br />

added case-ready ground chuck and sirloin Giant<br />

Eagle, based in Pittsburgh, offered beef bacon. Weis<br />

Markets also captured customer interest in simple<br />

meals with shaved steak from Bertolino Foods.<br />

“We knew that would be another opportunity to sell<br />

customers a superior product,” Becker said. “Any time<br />

we can expand our offerings to shout the Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand, we take advantage of it. It’s a<br />

great item in our fresh beef offerings.”<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 41

Ground beef, the largest retail beef category, gives<br />

shoppers more quality and versatility. Case-ready<br />

ground beef, patties, bricks and steaks reduce shrink<br />

and out-of-stocks. They help retailers manage labor<br />

and keep the case stocked late in the day, while<br />

offering leak-resistant and freezer-ready packages.<br />

Consumers also leaned into comfort foods more this<br />

year and learned about roasting and slow cooking<br />

from the brand’s Roast Perfect app.<br />

Convenient Ways to Learn<br />

“Retailers offering the brand have an edge,”<br />

O’Diam said. “If you can’t dine out for a great<br />

meal, you can have it at home.”<br />

The necessity of DIY fine-dining meant consumers<br />

searched for online tools to develop new skills.<br />

Recipes, social videos and digital tools helped<br />

them conquer the kitchen to create and serve<br />

restaurant-quality, beefy meals.<br />

Similar resources are essential as retailers finetuned<br />

their ecommerce sites for curbside pickup<br />

and delivery. Consumer confidence in online meat<br />

purchases continues to grow.<br />

“What we now have is a consumer that is very<br />

comfortable and a lot more confident in the<br />

kitchen, and this is a great way to engage them,”<br />

said IRI’s senior vice president of protein, Chris<br />

Dubois, during Annual Conference. “The more you<br />

can talk about quality, share ideas and integrate<br />

with the shopping, experience will continue to drive<br />

sales and keep beef at the top of the list.”<br />

Continuing Education<br />

Shoppers often seek tips and advice from meat staff.<br />

The ability to offer solutions and engaging experiences<br />

sets businesses apart, in store and online.<br />

The brand new Retail Certified Angus Beef ®<br />

University, launched in September, offers easy tips<br />

for meat staff to gain confidence for talking about<br />

beef quality, nutrition and beef preparation.<br />

The 20-minute training can be included in a<br />

retailer’s training platform for added ease, including a<br />

short video for all store associates.<br />

Training proved insightful for Southeastern Grocers,<br />

which launched the brand across 421 Winn Dixie,<br />

Harvey’s and Fresco y Mas stores from October 2019<br />

into summer. Winn Dixie leaders and store managers<br />

attended on-farm training in October, helping them<br />

understand the brand’s quality mission and the family<br />

farmers and ranchers it supports.<br />

Known in the market as “the experts in beef since<br />

1925,” Winn Dixie trainings continued throughout the<br />

year into spring. That’s when online sessions reached<br />

more than 650 associates, in English and Spanish,<br />

helping them introduce the brand’s fresh and Prime<br />

cuts, marinated meats, corned beef and other caseready<br />

items to customers.<br />

In fall 2019 more than 100 Giant Eagle meat<br />

managers attended a two-day training at the brand’s<br />

Culinary Center. Hands-on fabrication and cooking<br />

prepared them for an experience to discuss with<br />

customers at the meat case. The group followed up<br />

with online education this September. A Culinary<br />

Center Live session focused on deepening beef<br />

knowledge, including a virtual pasture walk at<br />

Atterholt Farms.<br />

“The feedback that I have received was outstanding,”<br />

shared Joe Seibel, Giant Eagle’s meat merchandising<br />

manager. “They were amazed that the time went by<br />

so quickly and were glued to their computer screens.<br />

With continued follow-up and in-store training, I am<br />

confident we will grow the brand together.”<br />

Retailers continue to transform, creating an experience<br />

both in person and online that feels personal.<br />

We know what will happen the next time someone<br />

asks, “What’s for dinner?” brand retailers will readily<br />

answer with the right tools to make it easy, and the<br />

best beef to make it memorable.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 43


Certified Angus Beef ® chefs imagine beef<br />

like never before with their favorite <strong>2020</strong><br />

kitchen creations.<br />

It may be hard to believe now, but there was a time when the Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® brand didn’t employ chefs.<br />

These kitchen magicians always held the keys to consumer delights<br />

and many worked closely with the brand, but until 2006 they cooked<br />

and created exclusively as partners in restaurants around the world.<br />

Then some of the creative fire started burning in Wooster, Ohio.<br />

Today, the collective culinary talents of six chefs please the palates of<br />

those lucky enough to feast on their brand creations. Their innovation<br />

with lesser known cuts and sessions with partner chefs have added<br />

untold value to the beef carcass.<br />

In a year that required creativity, chefs at the Certified Angus Beef ®<br />

brand brought to fire and plate many concepts that previously<br />

lived only in their minds.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 457



Chef Tony’s culinary experience spans the globe,<br />

from a singing waiter in Upstate New York to<br />

Japan’s famed Tokyo American Club, to Imelda<br />

Marcos’ kitchen and cooking for royalty in the<br />

Middle East. Those stops feature prominently in<br />

some of Chef Tony’s preferred dishes. His burger<br />

sushi — “Burgushi” — and Korean meatloaf blend<br />

two cultures that have weighed heavily into Biggs’<br />

resume: Asian and old-school Americana. Burgushi<br />

is a play on the cheeseburger, with ground beef<br />

and sushi rice wrapped inside crispy potato strings<br />

and topped with mustard, ketchup and mayo. The<br />

Korean version of an American staple is smoked<br />

and constructed with Certified Angus Beef ® brand<br />

Prime grinds, the dish is laden with gochujang and<br />

accompanied by kohlrabi crepes, curly potatoes<br />

and leek sushi.<br />

Ollier has the longest tenure with the chef team.<br />

The French-trained chef has a penchant for<br />

creating dishes both pleasing and approachable<br />

to home cooks everywhere, while stepping out<br />

of the box from time to time. Chef Michael kept<br />

one foot in the trends while staying relevant<br />

to home cooks with two of his favorite dishes<br />

from <strong>2020</strong>. The chef paid homage to Canadian<br />

bacon, dry-roasting lean eye of round as a<br />

bacon substitute to live on a sandwich or next<br />

to Eggs Benedict. Ollier used top round sliced<br />

with the grain and kissed with soy sauce,<br />

Worcestershire, red and black pepper, garlic<br />

and brown sugar to make classic beef jerky.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 47



Chef Ashley cut her teeth in one of the most<br />

famous kitchens in Los Angeles alongside<br />

culinary icon Nancy Silverton, and now runs the<br />

kitchen at the brand’s Culinary Center. An eye<br />

for precision with a Millennial edge, Breneman<br />

keeps tabs on what’s hip and trendy in the food<br />

world and marries it with unique cuts of beef<br />

for her guests. Chef Ashley went out of the box<br />

with her classic steak tartare, using traditional<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® tenderloin for the raw beef<br />

content, placing it atop a sous vide leek, and<br />

finishing it with crème fraiche and fresh fish roe.<br />

Breneman made pasta from kohlrabi stuffed<br />

with short rib and saffron cream sauce, topped<br />

with a toasted bread crumble.<br />

A native of what is now Zimbabwe, Chef Peter<br />

Rosenberg’s journey has taken him through some<br />

of the best-known dining rooms in Memphis<br />

and Dallas. Rosenberg’s time in Texas is everpresent<br />

in his food, which often includes highend<br />

interpretations of barbecue and smoked<br />

meats. Chef Peter is a huge fan of the coulotte,<br />

which he utilized in the form of a traditional<br />

California tri-tip barbecue: Santa Maria-rubbed,<br />

lightly smoked, roasted and served next to crispy<br />

tobacco onions with scored mango garnish, and<br />

finished with his sassy habanero mango sauce.<br />

Rosenberg notches up old-school corn chowder<br />

with braised short rib and thinly sliced blue corn<br />

tortillas with a lime crema.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 49



Inspired by his grandmother and trained under<br />

the late Certified Master Chef Peter Timmins,<br />

Chef Brad Parker is a jack of all trades in the<br />

kitchen. The East Coast native relies on his<br />

artistic intuition and appreciation for quality<br />

ingredients to create dishes that are a feast<br />

for all the senses. Chef Brad did his Asian<br />

interpretation of a French staple with his beef<br />

bouillabaisse, reimagining a traditional fish dish<br />

with lotus root and an Asian mirepoix, finished<br />

with spicy lap chong and ginger with soy sauce<br />

meatballs. He also went with a modern touch<br />

on his miso beef bites, made from teres major<br />

and accompanied by an avocado smash and<br />

kani salad.<br />

By day, Chef Pinto oversees the brand’s Test<br />

Kitchen, developing recipes and sharing cooking<br />

tips with consumers and home cooks. When<br />

he’s not crafting new ways to consume beef<br />

from the Instant Pot or creating minimalist<br />

ingredient recipes, he’s bending the minds of<br />

coworkers with his fondness for molds and<br />

molecular gastronomy. Chef Gavin went classic<br />

and elegant with his traditional Beef Wellington,<br />

made with tenderloin and mushroom duxelle,<br />

but adorned with a pastry latticework for an<br />

extra layer of crisp and beauty. Another favorite<br />

creation this year was the twist he gave to steak<br />

and eggs on toast: reverse seared teres major<br />

sits on a base of toasted artisinal sourdough<br />

with clotted cream and red trout roe, topped<br />

with microgreens.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 51


FUTURE<br />

Philanthropy grows<br />

young leaders.<br />

Goal-getters and difference makers, innovators and<br />

change curators — today’s students are tomorrow’s<br />

leaders. Supporting these creative and intelligent young<br />

people, the <strong>2020</strong> Colvin Scholarship Fund awarded<br />

$42,000 to 10 who are pursuing degrees in animal and<br />

meat sciences across the country.<br />

Honoring the Certified Angus Beef ® brand co-founder<br />

and executive director of 22 years, Louis “Mick”<br />

Colvin, the Fund supported 86 recipients and awarded<br />

$200,000 to date. Since 1999, the scholarship has<br />

carried on Colvin’s legacy of making dreams a reality<br />

and inspiring others to do their best.<br />

Conner McKinzie, a senior at Texas Tech University<br />

studying animal sciences, says he’s humbled and<br />

grateful to be a <strong>2020</strong> award recipient. Passionate<br />

about food waste and food insecurity, he plans to<br />

pursue a graduate degree in meat science, while also<br />

serving as a coach for the school’s meat judging team.<br />

Embodying a service mindset, his goal is “To make our<br />

world a more efficient and food-secure place to live.”<br />

Applicants were asked to outline a proposal to<br />

distinguish the Certified Angus Beef ® brand from the 90<br />

other USDA-certified programs that use “Angus” labels<br />

in marketing.<br />

McKinzie proposed a “relatable” approach to<br />

differentiate: deploy unique packaging to help tell the<br />

story of who the brand’s producers are and how their<br />

cattle live.<br />

“Never before has there been a generation more in<br />

touch with their emotions and socially ‘awakened’<br />

than there is today,” he wrote. “People want to know<br />

what they’re buying, where they’re buying it from, who<br />

raised it and what was it given in its lifetime.”<br />

The Certified Angus Beef ® Colvin Golf Classic and<br />

auction funds the scholarship program, with<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® partners raising more than<br />

$91,000 just last year, supporting the future of<br />

students pursuing lifelong careers in agriculture.<br />

“This year’s recipients demonstrated a level of<br />

engagement, understanding and leadership in the<br />

industry rare among many young people who have<br />

already entered the industry,” says John Stika, Certified<br />

Angus Beef ® president. “Their list of activities and plans<br />

for the future instilled a great deal of confidence that<br />

they will make a positive impact on the beef business<br />

moving forward.”<br />

Conner McKinzie<br />

<strong>2020</strong> Colvin Scholarship Fund Recipient<br />

Texas Tech University, Stephenville, Texas<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 53

Dishing Out Opportunities<br />

Investments in the next generation of culinary<br />

creatives supports students pursuing careers focused<br />

on the plate.<br />

Each year, the brand hosts endowed and expandable<br />

scholarships with both The Culinary Institute of America<br />

(CIA) and Johnson & Wales University. The pledges are<br />

reserved for culinary students and each school allocates<br />

the variable sum based on financial need.<br />

To qualify, students write essays showcasing their<br />

need for assistance, interest in culinary arts and<br />

beef. Each told a story connecting their personal<br />

experiences to their passion for creating special<br />

moments around food.<br />

“Beef has been the centerpiece to many of my childhood<br />

memories,” shared recipient Madison Giacherio.<br />

Matthew Blankenship, another scholarship recipient<br />

shared in his essay, “There are many reasons why<br />

Chef Peter and Tony cook with Culinary<br />

Institute of America students.<br />

I have so much respect for this company — their<br />

commitment to family and their commitment<br />

to quality. It’s why we use their steaks on my<br />

grandparent’s 50th anniversary and their beef in my<br />

mother’s stew on a cold winter day. This company is<br />

always bettering itself, and I will always do the same.”<br />

Beef education extends to the classroom where brand<br />

team members collaborate with teachers on meat<br />

science and butchery curriculum.<br />

Connecting with students for beef education adds<br />

another layer of mentorship. <strong>Brand</strong> chefs Tony Biggs<br />

and Peter Rosenberg returned to their alma mater, CIA<br />

— Hyde Park, to cook for 800 incoming students. More<br />

than serving great beef, the chefs prepped the meal with<br />

six rookies, teaching them their own technique.<br />

“The chef of tomorrow needs to learn so much more<br />

than I ever did,” says Rosenberg. “Investing in these<br />

students today, especially in sharing the importance of<br />

proteins, is going to give us the leaders of tomorrow.”<br />


Niche markets and natural products make<br />

a divine combination.<br />

Brothers Marketplace meet it’s customers’<br />

demands: fresh, whole foods with<br />

superior quality and consistency. The<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® brand Natural<br />

products are a perfect fit for their<br />

Northeastern customers.<br />

The Boston-area stores focus on creating<br />

a strong visual presence and shopping<br />

experience for their customers. Unique<br />

in-store marketing and sharing their beef’s<br />

background aligns with the mission of the<br />

neighborhood market.<br />

Consistent carcass utilization provides<br />

a steady supply to offer their customers<br />

with a wide variety of natural beef cut<br />

options. From shoulder cuts to tenderloin,<br />

they have it all.<br />

While Certified Angus Beef ® brand Natural<br />

product sales were down 20%, in some<br />

markets, they are the ideal. The Roche<br />

Brothers. branch saw a 136% increase this<br />

year in pounds of product sold.<br />

“For the team at Brothers Marketplace<br />

and Roche Brothers, it’s about the<br />

relationships, with their customers and<br />

their partners, and the quality products<br />

they provide in their stores,” says Jeff<br />

Vinacco, Certified Angus Beef ® executive<br />

account manager.<br />

Consistent relationships serving<br />

a captivated clientele. It just feels natural.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 55


The first season of MeatSpeak,<br />

the Certified Angus Beef ® podcast,<br />

launched in 2019 with beefy content:<br />

30 episodes, 22 guests, and 60% of<br />

the season’s top downloads being<br />

from the 14 meat science episodes.<br />

Meat geeks, farmers and ranchers,<br />

culinary personalities and those in<br />

the restaurant business listen in for<br />

captivating conversations led by<br />

Certified Angus Beef ® team members<br />

and guests.<br />

Listeners leaned in to the science and<br />

butchery, making meat science a topic<br />

of priority for season 2. The next set of<br />

episodes launched on September 30<br />

with the new co-host: meat scientist<br />

Diana Clark. She joins Bryan Schaaf<br />

and Chef Tony Biggs on the podcast’s<br />

meaty escapades.<br />

“Chef Tony brings his culinary<br />

knowledge, Bryan shines as a<br />

storyteller and Diana’s passions for<br />

meat science and education make<br />

this a podcast you don’t want to<br />

miss,” says Paige Clayton, digital<br />

marketing specialist.<br />

They take a deep dive into the what,<br />

why and how about all things beef<br />

on your favorite podcast platform.<br />

Scan the QR code<br />

to listen.<br />

CertifiedAngusBeef.com 57

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand name and marks are<br />

service/trademarks of Certified Angus Beef LLC.<br />

© <strong>2020</strong>, Volume 24 Issue 1, published annually.<br />

All rights reserved. 10/20-21170-2700

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