While Australian beef has held an edge in Taiwan's market share in recent years, the U.S. Meat Export Federation is working to cultivate relationships with Taiwanese importers and merchants.
Part of that relationship-building included a seminar for about 75 restaurant and hotel foodservice professionals to introduce them to new cuts of U.S. beef while providing them background on food safety, product handling and business operations.
The program was conducted with support from the USDA Market Access Program and the Beef Checkoff Program.
The audience included recipients of USMEF's Platinum U.S. beef certification – 5-star hotels and restaurants that sign a contract stating that they offer either prime or choice U.S. beef, buy products from certified importers, label them as U.S. beef, and source a minimum of 50% of their beef from the United States.
The petite tender and the clod heart were the center of attention at the two-day seminar where two chefs demonstrated different menu applications for the two cuts to give food service operators options to offer their customers.
With only a 5% domestic self-sufficiency in beef, Taiwan relies heavily on imports to meet the needs of consumers. Last year, the U.S. was a distant third behind Australia and New Zealand in beef sales to Taiwan, both in terms of volume and value, as Australia held a 47% market share to New Zealand's 18% and nearly 15% (volume) for the U.S. – 17.5% in terms of value, according to the Global Trade Atlas.
However, through the first nine months of 2013, sales of U.S. beef have grown nearly 214% in value to $199 million, taking 41% market share versus 34% for Australia and 20% for New Zealand.
Australia still holds an edge in terms of volume – 38.5% versus 32% for the U.S. and 21% for New Zealand, but American beef sales have grown 159% year-over-year while the top competitors have seen their shares fall.
"We will continue to introduce new offerings to buyers in Taiwan so that they will understand that there are options for different cuisines and different menu price points," said Davis Wu, USMEF-Taiwan director. "We have many friends in Taiwan who love and support U.S. beef. It is a long-term relationship that we will continue to cultivate."
Source: Beef Checkoff