U.S. Beef Ranked in Top 5 by Major Japanese Newspaper


According to research done by the Nikkei Marketing Journal (Nikkei MJ), an industrial newspaper, released on November 30, 2015, U.S. beef was ranked as the fifth best among 35 beef brands surveyed. The survey included 33 domestic brands plus U.S. and Australian beef. Matsuzaka beef, produced in Mie prefecture, was ranked first, followed by Kobe beef, Miyazaki beef (Miyazaki Prefecture) and Yonezawa beef (Yamagata Prefecture). The study ranked the U.S. beef as number five, scoring higher than many famous domestic beef brands such as Omi (Shiga), Maezawa (Iwate), and Saga (Saga). It also ranked above general domestic Japanese beef (non-branded). Australian beef was ranked tenth.

The research was done through questionnaires sent to 258 meat buyers of department stores and supermarkets from October, 23 through November 16, 2015. The questionnaire asked the buyers to score 17 different categories, and 143 buyers responded.

U.S. beef received the highest scores in several categories, such as adequacy of price, profitability, promotion supports with POP & in-store tasting, and consumer campaign with PR & events. U.S. beef also received high marks for low price, sales staff, supply availability, leanness, and repurchase rate. U.S. beef also earned high scores for its taste, equaling the scores of many major domestic brands. Many of these high scores for U.S. beef can be accredited to the successful marketing activities that have been carried out by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Although Australian beef did not rank as high as the U.S. in the taste category, it did get the highest scores for supply availability, low price, lean meat, and sales staff. Australian beef also received a higher score than the U.S. in the area of safety (10 compared with a 6 for the U.S.), but it scored lower in this category than domestic beef brands.

The areas where U.S. beef did not score as highly as other brands were safety, strength of brand, information disclosure about traceability. In these areas, domestic beef scored higher than U.S. beef. Although not reflecting actual safety levels, this survey is a useful indicator of the perceptions among traders about various beef brands in Japan.

The research also asked about buyers’ criteria for making decisions on their beef procurement, and the chart below lists the criteria in order of importance. The highest priority was given to quality (freshness and exterior) – 78%. The second was taste – 68%, and the third was supply availability – 62%, the fourth was high level of safety – 55% and the fifth was marbling – 42%. Surprisingly, these were all shown to be more important than low price, which came in at 36%. A majority of the buyers are interested in increasing sales of lean meat, which can be a marketing advantage for U.S. suppliers.


Source:  FAS/USDA


Latest News

Program Helps Give Calves A Healthy Edge

Purina Animal Nutrition introduces Purina® Plus, an innovative feeder calf program, which aims to help cattle producers supply high-value, low-risk feeder calves to the marketplace.

Adding Up Pennies

The “Discovering True Carcass Value Webinar” sponsored by Certified Angus Beef will explore cutout values and how CAB carcasses add value beyond Choice.

Rana Creek Ranch
Glenn Selk: Riding Off Into The Sunset

Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist Glenn Selk announces he is handing over publication of future Cow-Calf Newsletters to other OSU beef specialists.

Gearhart Ranch
NCBA Delivers State of the Industry Address

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spokesmen gave an update on the state of the industry and priority issues in Washington, D.C. that may affect cattlemen during the group’s virtual Winter Reboot conference.

Pilgrim’s Pride Agrees To Price-Fixing Fine

Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's second-largest poultry processor, entered a guilty plea to federal charges of price-fixing and bid-rigging, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Setting Expectations Smooths the Path for Succession Planning with Off-Farm Heirs

At this year’s Top Producer Online Summit, Rena Striegel shared her key tips to make this transition easier for all involved.