Mon, 28 May 2018
SWEDEN - USMEF met with both existing and potential customers of US beef from Sweden, Finland and Denmark at GastroNord, the largest food and beverage industry trade show in northern Europe. The promotion of US beef at the Stockholm event was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.
The USMEF booth displayed US beef and featured educational materials on the US beef industry and information on how to buy US beef products. USMEF representatives answered questions about US beef’s attributes and availability.
Local distributors were also present at the show with displays of US beef cuts. Dafgards, a US beef distributor in Sweden, arranged a series of US beef master classes by USMEF chef Jay McCarthy.
"It was important for us to interact with distributors that already handle US beef and highlight the American beef industry’s commitment to the European Union market," said Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the EU. "
This is especially important given the tight capacity of the EU’s duty-free beef quota. GastroNord provided an excellent opportunity to maintain our relationships with existing importers and to meet with importers from several countries in the region who are interested in US beef."
Mr Barutkin pointed out the demographics of the region and the reasons why US beef has great opportunities there.
"Host country Sweden has a population of 10 million and one of the highest living standards in the world," he said. "In fact, all countries in Northern Europe – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland – have very high disposable incomes and standards of living. Because of that, US beef – a rather expensive, niche product for Europe in general – has a large target audience."
Sweden is already one of the leading markets for US beef in Europe.
"It should be noted that Sweden’s HRI and retail sectors have very high penetration of US beef, which is visible at white table cloth restaurants, burger joints, diners and regular retail outlets," he added.
"Another important observation from the Swedish market and from the Northern European market in general is the attention consumers give to antibiotic use in US cattle production, animal welfare issues and environmental impact. It is important that we address those issues in our campaigns in these markets, and proactively pass that information on to our partners and distributors."