UK beef arrives in the US

Friday, 16 October 2020

By Felicity Rusk

The first shipment of UK beef departed to the US on the 30 September. This represents the first shipment of exports of British beef to the US in 24 years, and is the first beef to be exported since market access was granted back in March.

This first volumes were exported from a plant in Northern Ireland, and included a select number of cuts, including sirloin cannon and topside mini beef joints. These will be showcased at our ‘British Roast beef’ launch this week, aimed at influencers and buyers from the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

This deal is estimated to be worth £66 million over the next five years, but how does this rank alongside our already established export destinations?

A simple average of the estimated £66 million over a five-year period would equate to £13.2 million/year. If realised, this would rank US market 8th in relation to the UK’s other export markets, roughly in-line with Belgium. 

Why is the US such a valuable market?

From a UK perspective, the US has been a relatively untapped market in terms of food exports. The UK has previously only had market access for pork and dairy products. The market access gained for beef products provides a valuable opportunity for British beef.

As highlighted in our US country focus report, per capita meat consumption in the US is three times the global average. Our research, in conjunction with ICM in 2017, highlighted that value for money is at the forefront for most Americans when purchasing meat. However, consumers still expect high quality regardless of price point. Our research also identified a limited awareness of British produce among American consumers, highlighting the importance of events like ‘British Roast beef’ in boosting the profile of British beef.

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