A blueprint and a new brand designed to capture more value for New Zealand’s sheepmeat and beef overseas has been unveiled today by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and is expected to start appearing in markets overseas by the end of the year.
The Red Meat Story and Taste Pure Nature origin brand will be used as a global brand platform to underpin exporters’ marketing programmes and enhance the positioning of New Zealand red meat. It has been developed in conjunction with B+LNZ’s processor partners and farmers over the past 12 months and has involved extensive consumer, customer and market analysis, built upon by significant further quantitative research by the B+LNZ market development ream and the organisation’s recent research into alternative proteins.
Taste Pure Nature brand assets will be available for New Zealand exporters to use in all markets with the brand appearing on packaging, advertising and other material by the end of the year.
In addition, B+LNZ is working with processing companies on two pilot programmes in China and the United States.
These programmes will aim to build demand and visibility for New Zealand beef and lamb through active in-market promotion of Taste Pure Nature to key distributors, foodservice and retail channels including consumers. If successful, B+LNZ will work with processing companies to extend the active promotion to further markets.
Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ, says consumer research shows New Zealand’s overall image as a country is positive, but weak in relation to red meat in high growth markets.
“Taste Pure Nature is our unique point of difference and is central to our promise of the purest and most natural meat taste experiences in the world.”
B+LNZ’s research also showed a product’s country or place of origin is a major factor in purchasing decisions by consumers, retailers and the foodservice sector, he says.
“It is a shortcut to understanding and trust. It provides a basis for choosing a brand if it is available – which adds further value and differentiation.”
McIvor says New Zealand’s competitors were investing significantly in differentiating themselves and winning.
“Australia, for example, invests around $68 million per year in marketing its red meat based on the True Aussie brand and Ireland invests in its sustainability programme Origin Green. It’s critical New Zealand moves now to safeguard and enhance our position as a premium producer.”
Andrew Morrison, chairman of B+LNZ, says there was a growing level of anxiety among consumers driven by food scares, the use of hormones and antibiotics, environmental concerns, and concerns about animal welfare.
“With our natural assets and farming systems, New Zealand is strongly positioned, at an origin level, to establish a level of trust and loyalty with consumers that can’t be replicated by other origins.
“Our research shows consumers will pay a premium for naturally-raised, grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free red meat. We are seeing strong demand in the US and opportunities for premiumisation of New Zealand red meat such as in China and the Middle East.
“While premium consumers are often choosing to eat less red meat each week, when they do they are prepared to spend more.
“New Zealand has one of the most environmentally efficient farming systems in the world. However, we recognise agriculture has an impact on the environment and that work must continue to address these impacts.
“Good environmental management is a key selling point for New Zealand primary sector products, internationally. New Zealand has a unique brand – one that we want to continue building on.
“Enhancing our sector’s environmental position is a key priority, which is why later this month we will be releasing the B+LNZ Environment Strategy, which sets a path to 2040, guiding farmers forward in a way that is environmentally, economically, socially and culturally sustainable.”
The Origin Brand and high level go-to-market strategy is well supported by processing companies. Chief executives of the major meat processing and exporting companies were present at a workshop in April, alongside the Minister of Agriculture and some of New Zealand’s larger scale farmers, where full support for the strategy was received from those present.
“There is full support from the members of the MIA Council for the work done so far, including the origin brand,” says John Loughlin, chairman of the Meat Industry Association. “We look forward to continuing to work with B+LNZ to finalise the implementation plan.”
It is hoped the origin brand and red meat story will be launched in export markets by the end of the year. If a company wishes to use the Taste Pure Nature trade mark in global markets, they must first apply to B+LNZ for a licence to use the mark.
To be considered eligible for a licence, the New Zealand meat company must be part of the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme (NZFAP) or have an ISO/IEC 17065 accredited Farm Assurance Programme which is independently audited.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand will be hosting a series of meetings for farmers to learn more about the Red Meat Story and Origin Brand in the coming months.
Watch the brand video here:
Find out more about the brand at www.tastepurenaturenz.co.nz.