Branded Beef: Why Brand?

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 Branded beef is all about meeting consumer demand so that you can sell your beef for a fair return.

As with any new venture, creating a brand is hard work! Doing it on your own means that YOU have to make your product successful, from the gate to the plate. Product development means creating a marketing plan, coming up with the necessary finances, partnering with the right people, and developing and selling a product that answers consumer demand. Due to the high cost of establishing and maintaining a brand and limited space for branded programs at the retail level it may be better to align with an existing brand rather than creating a new one. Aligning with an existing branded beef program may be advantageous in that the legwork has been done for you and your focus can remain primarily on production rather than marketing.

Whether you are creating your own brand or aligning with an existing brand, the generic value chain model shown below displays how producers, processors, distributors, food service and retailers may develop innovative ways to answer consumer demand through a value chain approach.

Explore each link of the value chain to learn about the potential advantages and common challenges invovled in branded beef programs:

Advantages: Increased market demand and price stability; reduced cost of marketing if aligning with an existing program; improved understanding of consumer demand; ability to extract value from non-typical or specialized cattle types; access to markets
Challenges: Transitioning to a branded beef program may involve increased marketing (if creating your own brand); profitability assessment; leadership and management skills; business planning; risk mitigation; financing; record keeping; age verification and traceability.

Advantages: Improved efficiency in securing supply; quality assurance and food safety responsibility are shared with the rest of the chain
Challenges: Meeting branded beef program demands ie. certified organic, distribution efficiencies

Advantages: Work with processor / producer to avoid shortages and surpluses
Challenges: Developing ideas for secondary cuts, meal solutions and maintaining product quality

Food Service
Advantages: Improved efficiency in securing supply; exclusivity of product appeals to customer; consistency in weight; trim specs and ageing; develop or grow relationship with producers to develop menu ideas
Challenges: Identifying customer needs; developing ideas for secondary cuts / maintaining product quality

Advantages: Market differentiation; development of elationships with distributors / processors / producers; greater ability to hire and utilize specialized retail marketing expertise; generation of new marketing opportunities and promote consumer loyalty
Challenges: Identifying customers’ needs and deciding how best to meet those needs; marketing the idea of paying more for branded beef products; aligning with companies that have the capability to supply retail customers

Advantages: Quality assurance; consistent products
Challenges: Understanding of product labels; willingness to pay more for consistent, high quality, safe and local branded products

Other Documents in the Series

  Branded Beef: What is Branded Beef?
Branded Beef: Why Brand? - Current Document
Branded Beef: Where is the Market?
Branded Beef: What Makes a Brand?
Branded Beef: Who Is Branding Beef in Alberta?
Branded Beef: What Happens Behind The Brand?
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kathy Bosse.
This document is maintained by Ordella Knopf.
This information published to the web on May 20, 2008.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 22, 2018.