Today the beef industry must explore the most contemporary ways of communicating to consumers with information on beef’s nutrition, ease of preparation, taste and convenience – as well as showing consumers who is responsible for delivering this great product to their tables. Furthermore, beef producers in Nebraska and across the country must make sure beef is being marketed and merchandised in a way that engages today’s consumers.
The industry, through its Beef Checkoff Program, has helped keep up with the quickly evolving marketing landscape by introducing a new artificial intelligence tool called Chuck Knows Beef. Powered by Google Artificial Intelligence, Chuck Knows Beef is a guide to all things beef – recipes, cooking tips, cut information, production background – and can help source customized responses from content found on the BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website. He has the knowledge of a rancher, the skills of a chef and the sense of humor of a Dad.
Chuck Knows Beef was officially introduced in early April. It is now available to help the 70 percent of consumers who say technical support would be beneficial when shopping for beef by texting recipe shopping lists directly to them. Is also providing great company in the kitchen, with great recipes and a fun personality – including delivering a good “dad” joke from time to thyme.
“Chuck is helping empower today’s shoppers and make them more confident in their beef purchases,” according to Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council. “It is the perfect way to combine today’s technology and knowledge to enhance beef buying and beef preparation, and ensure we continue to build an even broader population of people who love beef.”
The technology-embracing program called Chuck Knows Beef was built on a solid foundation of cutting-edge beef promotion that started more than 25 years ago with the introduction of an iconic consumer brand: Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. At that time, it featured celebrity voiced and Aaron Copland’s famous “Hoe-Down” from Rodeo, hitting the airwaves with a force that pushed beef to the forefront of consumer advertising and into the center of the dinner plate.
In 2014 the checkoff’s advertising efforts went 100 percent digital to reach more consumers, particularly older millennial parents, who are more digitally connected.
The respected Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand was relaunched in 2017 – an ideal time given that per capita beef consumption was on the rise. Today the brand focuses on promoting beef’s greatest strengths: the unbeatable taste of beef, the people and production process behind beef, the variety and ease of cooking beef, and the nutritional strength that beef provides. These are unique attributes beef has when compared to other protein sources.
Complete with an updated logo, a new digital website BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com answers questions consumers have about beef from pasture to plate. Coupled with the strongest assets from the brand’s 25-year history – the tagline, the Rodeo music and the strong male voice in advertising – the refreshed Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand had more than 160 million consumer touch points last year. Since its relaunch more than 15 million people have visited the new website, which has answers to the questions consumers have about beef.
Chuck is Born
Over the past year the NCBA team started exploring emerging trends around smart speakers, such as the Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Today there are more than 50 million smart speaker owners in the United States, an accomplishment that took a mere 2 years. (To put that into context, it took television 13 years to reach 50 million owners.)
Chuck Knows Beef. He brings the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand to life through knowledge and personality, making Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. even more accessible.
Checkoff strategists saw this as an opportunity to connect beef information from BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com through a tool that could reach even more beef consumers and potential beef users. Consumers just type a question into the site. For example, to see its sense of humor they may type in “Where’s the beef?” Or, to learn more about a popular cut identified by the beef checkoff they may ask, “What is the Flat Iron Steak?” If they want to know what Chuck thinks about other proteins, they can ask, “What do you think of Chicken?”
Chuck always has an answer. Utilizing smart speakers and the ChuckKnowsBeef.com site, consumers can get information on choosing the right cut of beef, a cooking method or a recipe. In addition to the 70 percent of people who said in a survey technical support would be helpful when shopping for beef, another 65 percent agreed that it would influence their purchasing decision.
Like the BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website before it, Chuck Knows Beef represents a prime opportunity for the beef industry to help increase consumer demand, giving consumers confidence and tips they need to select and prepare beef. It’s how the Beef Checkoff Program is keeping up with today’s shoppers and giving beef lovers – and potential beef lovers – the help they need in enjoying their favorite meals.