Collaboration is essential to the mutual success of grocery retailers and their suppliers. Each must be an open book of ideas and insights to establish a win-win relationship.
A great example of this is the relationship that the Wooster, Ohio-based Certified Angus Beef brand (CAB) has with its partner retailers across the United States, many of whom came to help CAB celebrate its 40th anniversary last week at a milestone conference in Maui, Hawaii, which I was honored to attend.
I got to hear firsthand the stories that grocers shared about how the brand helped drive sales and loyalty from the meat department through the entire store, while CAB shared impressive sales results made possible through the partnership it has with its retailers.
To wit: CAB expects to sell 1.2 billion pounds of its high-quality beef by the end of 2018. The brand’s total sales this year are up more than 8 percent, while retail sales, which account for nearly 44 percent of the brand’s total growth and almost 41 percent of its total business, are up 8.7 percent.
“The Certified Angus Beef brand is a conduit for bringing quality-minded people together to foster relationships that build trust,” CAB President John Stika said, addressing conference attendees at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort as he reflected on the brand’s first 40 years and signaled its promising future. “It’s a testament to the dedication and commitment of our partners, and speaks volumes to the importance of quality to consumers around the world.”
One of those partners didn’t have to travel far for its plaudits. Honolulu-based Foodland Super Markets, which operates 33 stores throughout the Hawaiian Islands, was named CAB’s Small Retail Chain Marketer of the Year. Offering CAB exclusively as its beef offering, Foodland provides meal suggestions on television and radio, and in weekly sales fliers. For the chain’s 70th anniversary this year (its 10th year offering the brand), stores featured beef cuts for 70 consecutive days. Additonally, in-store butchers regularly recommend their favorite cuts on social media and with customers at the meat case.
While an attendee visit to a Maui Foodland store was cancelled due to rain temporarily washing out the island’s main road, Foodland brass shared the chain’s story in a conference session, and its chef prepared lunch for attendees.
“We’ve found so much success in our partnership with Certified Angus Beef,” said Stacy Waiau-Omori, Foodland’s VP of sales and operations.
And Bill Haynes, the grocer’s meat and seafood director, noted the importance of collaboration with CAB to ensure steady supplies of product, which come by ship from the mainland and require strategic cooling and storage to keep them fresh and extend their shelf life.
Similar stories offered by other retailers recognized by CAB further drove home the message that a close retailer-supplier relationship is paramount to the success of both the grocery banner and the retail brand.
CAB also honored these retailers:
- Reasor's, based in Tulsa, Okla., was named CAB’s Retailer of the Year. For nearly 30 years, Reasor’s has been offering Certified Angus Beef brand cuts and later introduced CAB Prime, with some stores also offering dry-aged beef. Reasor’s featured the brand in weekly promotions and its summer grilling campaign. Trained meat managers guide customers in product selections and provide cooking tips, leading Reasor’s to also earn a Top Five Sales Volume Small Chain Retailer award.
- Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., earned the Large Retail Chain Marketer of the Year award. The retailer offers CAB products in weekly circulars and on social channels. Meal ideas are shared with bloggers and consumers at events, through holiday roast promotions, and deli meat and frozen burger promotions. Thanks to its highly trained meat staff, Meijer also won CAB’s Top Sales Volume Large Chain Retailer award.
- Roche Bros., based in Wellesley Hills, Mass., received the Retail Brand Extension Marketer of the Year award. Roche Bros. offers CAB Prime steaks and burgers, and promotes the brand via store signage, tailgating ideas and holiday roast promotions.
- DeMoulas Market Basket, based in Tewksbury, Mass., was recognized with the Retail Value-Added Products Marketer of the Year award. DeMoulas’ stores introduced marinated steak tips and fresh corned beef, and also added the brand’s Natural steaks, burgers and ground beef to its meat cases. Additionally, the team renewed its commitment to quality through training.
- Piggly Wiggly JTM, based in Phenix City, Ala., was named CAB’s Retail Rising Star.
- HEB Mexico, Escobedo, Nuevo Leon – Top Sales Volume Small Chain Retailer
- Weis Markets, Sunbury, Pa. – Top Retail Sales Volume Increase
- Cermak Fresh Market, Chicago – Top Retail Average Volume Per Store with More than 10 Stores
- Crest Fresh Market, Edmond, Okla. – Top Retail Average Volume Per Store with Less than 10 Stores
- DeKalb Farmers Market, Decatur, Ga. – Top Sales Volume Single Store Retailer
- Amigos Foods, Chicago – Top Sales Volume Retail Distributor
- Topco Associates, Elk Grove Village, Ill. – Top Sales Volume Cooperative