Every number has a story: 120 million
In light of CAB’s fiscal year, totaling 896 million pounds sold, the number 120 million has the potential to get a bit overshadowed.
Not a chance here. We know what it takes to drive the brand domestically, and don’t even pretend to think there aren’t equal or more challenges internationally. We celebrate any brand activity overseas, but jump for joy when we hear CAB partners in 52 countries tied our record, set last year, by matching 120 million pounds sold in fiscal year 15.
That’s good news and means 13.5% of CAB brand sales took place outside of the US for the fiscal year. It’s great news when you learn this year was one of the brand’s most challenging.
“From a purchasing power standpoint, when we look at our key markets for the brand, many of these countries were under tremendous pressure because of the decreasing value of their currency against the US dollar,” Geof Bednar, CAB International Director says. “That affected our opportunities.”
Canada, Mexico and Japan remained our top markets this year but US beef exports of muscle cuts, through September, were down 13%. Geof says if we look at some of our key markets, such as the Middle East and South Korea, both up in sales by 29.6% and 10.6%, respectively, CAB sales have been able to run counter to what we see taking place in some of our most important trading countries.
To further leverage our international presence and focus on a leading market region, we opened a Tokyo office in August to house CAB senior manager Takayoshi Hirayama.
“Since opening our Japanese office, we’ve been able to significantly increase our footprint – not only from a brand positioning standpoint in that market – but also from an everyday communication level with the most key importers, distributors and restaurant chains in Japan.”
Released to Congress and yet to be ratified is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Geof says, if ratified, we may see a lull compared to last year leading up to it as companies clean out their cold-storage inventory to take advantage of the opportunity.
“As far as our partners in Japan are concerned, it does put them in a very good mindset that there’s hope and opportunity for much more purchasing power, regardless of what happens to the price of beef or the change in currency rates.”
But that’s by no means his team’s only focus. Building on events such as Middle East Specialist and International Chef Summit, Geof and some of his team are hosting a group of 14 international partners for the first International Masters of Brand Advantages (MBA) class this week. Guests from faraway places like Japan, Korea, Mexico, Columbia and Egypt will visit with producers and tour a feedlot and packing plant before heading to Wooster to learn more about the brand.
Thanks for allowing me to tell your story,
PS — You can follow along as we blog our way through November. Here’s what you may have missed in our “Every number has a story series”:
Day one: $6.93
Day two: 2.5 million
Day three: $204.10
Day four: 12.1 million
Day five: 11/13
Day six: 8 million
Day seven: 139
Day eight: $39
Day nine: 30.1%