Foodservice app helps educate key beef industry audience

Farm Forum

A mobile app for smartphone and tablets developed by the California Beef Council is helping foodservice professionals become more knowledgeable about beef and beef production. An upgrade of the app, partially funded through the Federation Initiative Fund, is making the technology even more useful and up-to-date.

The BEEFlexible for Foodservice Professionals app was developed by the CBC in 2013, and those who work with the restaurant industry have found its information on beef cuts for foodservice and the beef lifecycle helpful in their sales efforts. However, analytic tracking on the app was initially limited, the beef production lifecycle element wasn’t as interactive as it could be, and the Beef Cuts for Foodservice section needed updating.

A grant from the Federation Initiative Fund allowed CBC to improve these components, giving users a more robust tool for increasing sales and increasing CBC’s ability to track user behavior on the app, determining which categories and topics are the most important to foodservice professionals.

For the Production Lifecycle section of the app, an interactive approach replaced a static PDF, with graphics provided by the Federation Design Services team and content from the Beef Checkoff Program and information from the Integrated Communications team creating a fun approach to the topic. Finally, the Beef Cuts for Foodservice section was updated and aligned with content available online at the beef checkoff’s www.beeffoodservice,com website.

“The updates we made to the mobile application have been very successful,” according to Christie Van Egmond, CBC manager for channel marketing. “We have seen significant usage of the areas where we focused our updates. Furthermore, with Google analytics on the app we are now able to track app user behavior and can obtain important measurable outcomes.”

Overall, the app has been praised by those who use it.

“This app will be a mainstay in our new sales representative training program,” according to Brian Meier, vice president of sales and marketing for Del Monte Meat Co. “All new sales team members will be required to download the app for their own personal training.”

“This is another great resource from the Beef Council,” says Mike Berwanger, center of the plate consultant for US Foods.

The BEEFlexible app has been downloaded more than 4,000 times and has had more than 89,700 screen views since analytics tracking was inputted. The app is a free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

The enhanced program was partially funded through a $4,988 grant from the Federation of State Beef Councils Initiative Fund. The Federation Initiative Fund helps funnel beef checkoff dollars from cattle-producing states to states with high consumer populations. Through the Federation’s Executive Committee, the fund has awarded about $2.2 million to 22 states conducting 180 programs since it was started in 2006.