Developed by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), the brand will help lift sector profitability by positioning NZ beef and lamb as a premium food choice globally. B+LNZ’s CEO Sam McIvor says it will complement and add value to individual processor brands.
The country of origin brand and story is the result of extensive consumer and stakeholder research, carried out by the organisation’s Market Development team, in key and emerging red meat markets.
Our ultimate objective is to create a powerful brand promise that acts as a “bridge” between consumers and the source of their food.
McIvor says the team sought to determine how NZ sheep and beef was positioned in these markets and gain an understanding of this country’s competitors and key consumer trends.
“Our understanding of our consumers has never been clearer. Consumers are increasingly anxious about food production values and environmental, animal welfare and health concerns are driving their food choices. With greater public scrutiny 'industrial' food production, consumers want meat raised as nature intended – natural, grass-fed, with integrity and respect, and with little intervention. New Zealand is well placed to meet that need. “
While the research showed NZ was viewed in a positive light, consumers had little knowledge about this country’s red meat production systems – and from a marketing point of view – lacked the sophistication of competing nations.
“There is a lot more value we could be capturing from a strong NZ red meat story and brand,” he says.
The Market Development team found country or proof of origin has become a primary navigation tool for consumers, a shortcut for trust and an early filter for consideration.
Country, or place of origin is a primary navigation tool for consumers and retailers – and a shortcut to understanding and trust.
“The research also highlights that status quo is not an option”, McIvor says. Our competitors are investing strongly in their country brands and if we don’t do anything New Zealand will slip further behind our competitors. There is also likely to be growing pressure from alternative proteins.”
McIvor believes NZ beef and lamb, produced in safe and natural farming systems in this country’s unique environment, is well placed to become first-choice for health-conscious red meat consumers who are willing to pay a premium for products produced in a way that aligns with their values.
Work is continuing to further test and hone the story and an industry-wide activation strategy will be put in place to ensure the right countries, channels and initiatives are targeted at the outset.
“This is vital because, ultimately, how we collectively choose to execute our brand will define its success.”
<img alt="New Zealand’s image overall is positive but weak in relation to red meat. There is awareness, but little knowledge.New Zealand’s image overall is positive but weak in relation to red meat. There is awareness, but little knowledge.
McIvor says B+LNZ will continue to communicate progress on the brand, story and activation strategy over the next few months.
Watch a video outlining the brand-development and next steps below.