Survey reveals only 9% of consumers recognise the term ‘suckler beef’

It is often highlighted by suckler farmers and mart managers that the ‘prime quality’ suckler beef animals need to be marketed differently to the ever-increasing dairy-beef animals.

Some farmers have proposed a premium price be obtained at slaughter for beef animals from the suckler herd.

To meet this demand, Bord Bia has revealed in its latest newsletter that it is has been increasing its marketing strategies abroad to create a ‘suckler beef from Ireland’ brand. The overall objective is to enhance market value and ultimately achieve higher returns for suckler beef farmers.

Survey of consumers

As part of marketing research carried out by Bord Bia, it conducted a survey with consumers in Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland to gain an understanding of their awareness and attitudes towards suckler beef.

According to the results, when conducting the survey, only 9% of the foreign participants recognised the term ‘suckler’.

The study also involved presenting three descriptions of suckler beef, focusing on distinct attributes. During the survey participants were asked to rate each concept.

The three concepts were as follows: 

  • Beef Bred – Superior Taste: Beef from entirely beef-bred suckler herds – because better breeding gives better beef;
  • Wholesome Suckler Beef: Beef produced in a way that is kind to the planet and kind to the animal;
  • Sustainable Suckler Beef: Beef from sustainable farms working in harmony with nature.

When the participants of the survey were asked to rate the above concepts, ‘Wholesome Suckler Beef’ was identified as the preferred choice. Four in 10 participants commented that they liked that suckler cattle were treated well after reading the three concepts.

A total of 57% of participants also agreed that the ‘Wholesome Suckler Beef’ concept was truly different from other products in the market.

survey TB pgi suckler package beep-s

Developing the brand

Published in its ‘Farmers Newsletter’ for winter 2020, Bord Bia has stated that it aims to develop a brand proposition for suckler beef – which will essentially highlight the unique selling points that the brand has to offer.

It has stated once this brand proposition has been developed, Bord Bia will educate consumers on what makes suckler beef from Ireland different from other beef products in the market.

They will also create a niche for ‘suckler beef from Ireland’ which will deliver added value to Irish beef sold in overseas markets while also motivating consumption in its launch markets of Italy and Germany.