If you were born between 1980 and 2000, consider yourself a target.
It is this group of savvy, beef-loving consumers that the beef industry is using as its target audience for advertising, according to Michele Peterson Murray, executive director of integrated communications for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Murray spoke to members of the Kansas Livestock Association during its annual convention in Wichita on Dec. 6, explaining the strategy that the "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" campaign will undertake in the coming year. She said the Millennials, the generation that started turning 20 at the turn of the century, are rapidly taking control of the marketplace.
Make way for the Millennials
"In the next five years, the Millennials will outspend the Baby Boomers," she said. "The numbers are there and the dollars are there. As they begin to hit their big earning years, the Boomers are retiring and cutting back on their spending."
The good news for beef, Murray said, is that the Millennials are definitely carnivores. But the bad news is they have grown up in an era that has had raised questions about the healthfulness and the ease-of-use of beef.
"Of the parents in this group, 75% say chicken is healthier for their children than beef," she said. "That means the beef industry has a big job ahead in educating them not only to the healthy, high-protein attributes of lean beef but to the ease with which it can be prepared and stretched for meals through the week."
Many of the people in this generation are reaching the age when they move beyond hamburger as their primary red meat and they either move into the realm of steak and roast buyers or they don't.
"This is time when we need to snag them," she said. "We need to pique their interest in beef and teach them how to cook it."
To learn more about just how the primary promoters of beef plan to do that, be sure to read your January Kansas Farmer.