Pushing AngusPure out in front of more consumers is crucial for the continued expansion of the AngusPure brand.
A new agreement with Foodstuffs South Island Limited has ensured AngusPure will be the only breed-specific branded beef on their supermarket shelves for the next five years at least.
Foodstuffs South Island Butchery Operations Manager Steve Alexander is really happy with the agreement that’s now in place. Consumer feedback dictated the need for a premium quality beef product on their shelves. “We’ve had AngusPure on-shelf for a number of years, not so much as a top-end product, as one of discerning choice in a couple of the key cuts,” says Alexander.
Foodstuffs now has exclusivity with the brand, as well as a wider range of cuts available to its customers across all four banners including New World, PAK'nSAVE, Four Square and Raeward Fresh. “We really needed to get an agreement in place to ensure our customers are getting what we believe is one of the best brands of top-end beef.”
Across the four banners, New World is the largest, with forty stores in the South Island versus PAK'nSAVE’s ten stores. From a volume perspective, store sales are impacted by population size and demographics.
“All the meat going into both chains is of equal quality,” Alexander says. “New World would be the biggest retailer of AngusPure simply because the brand has more stores.”
Guy Sargent, a partner in AngusPure, believes it advantageous that both PAK'nSAVE and New World banners fall under Foodstuffs. “Demographics will ultimately dictate where beef will sell. There are a number of locations in New Zealand, for example Taupo, that have a PAK'nSAVE but no New World. We need to maintain a presence in these locations, and the spread across the banners allows that.”
Sargent notes that New Zealand is a relatively small market, in which positioning is extremely important. “Our perception is that Foodstuffs has positioned itself at the top of the tree, making it most definitely our preferred partner."
AngusPure has been hot on the supermarket shelves for a long time. “Our shelves are like real estate. We’re pushed for space, so when we make a decision about the products we’re putting on-shelf, we’ve got to get it right,” says Alexander.
The partnership arrangement has seen AngusPure product labelled with co-branded labels in all PAK'nSAVE and New World Foodstuffs stores. “The big red ‘A’ is quite distinct and the brand gets a lot of cut-through,” says Alexander.
The global financial crisis saw sales across Foodstuffs stores changing; for example, baking ingredients took off as people became more frugal. “From a top-end point of view, it was actually quite staggering that sales of the four main beef cuts – fillet, ribeye, rump and porterhouse – showed no decline at all,” Alexander notes.
The new partnership with AngusPure has meant Foodstuffs can expand the range and offer more versatile cuts.
From an AngusPure perspective, Sargent says, “It’s about utilising as much of the carcase as possible, not just the one or two top cuts that restaurants are interested in.”
With retail you can really ‘pump up the brand’. “It’s all about consumer confidence in the brand. If people have that, they are happy to pay a bit more. With AngusPure consumers know they can trust it to be a safe, socially responsible product, and they know it’s going to be of the highest quality.”
Putting AngusPure product in front of consumers on mass can only be good for the farming sector. “It’s about securing a higher return for farmers right across the carcass,” Sargent says. “Those who buy registered Angus bulls will ultimately get rewarded.”
Sales of AngusPure have continued to rise year-on-year. In 2013, 61,000 cartons of AngusPure were sold through New World and PAK'nSAVE stores in the South Island. In 2014 this increased to 75,000 cartons – “Which is indicative of the recognition AngusPure is receiving as a quality beef product from our customers,” says Alexander.
A distribution centre in Hornby, Christchurch houses all the AngusPure, and is available to all Foodstuffs South Island stores on a daily basis with a next-day turnaround. “The store will select what they want on a Monday and it’ll turn up in-store by the Tuesday.”
Eighty percent of beef and lamb in New Zealand is sold through supermarkets. From a desktop point of view, Alexander suggests that, “the number of consumers who have made the switch from a generic 100% New Zealand beef ribeye to an AngusPure beef ribeye is increasing.” There is a difference in price but it’s only a couple of dollars per kilo, and is mostly dictated by schedule. “New Zealand is not a big country but once we get AngusPure on the plates, more people will make that switch.”
In-store promotion has so far been limited to co-branding of product, but 2015 promises to be a big year for in-store sampling at both New World and PAK'nSAVE. Foodstuffs’s programme includes dedicated people cooking and sampling on a weekly basis across stores, and AngusPure will be a part of this programme now that there is distribution to almost all Foodstuffs stores.
Sargent believes that the future is about working in partnerships. “It’s not sustainable to try and hold a market on your own. AngusPure are out there pushing New World and other Foodstuffs South Island stores through our membership, and, likewise, they’re pushing our product to their customers.”
For AngusPure, this was a logical step flowing on from its relationship with Foodstuffs North Island. The partnership is a win all round, ultimately through getting more AngusPure onto more Kiwi’s plates.
- Sarah Ivey, AngusPure