Global demand for beef increases opportunity for U.S. cattle industry
Around the world, demand is growing for high-quality steaks, and Chef Middle East’s Regional Category Manager for Protein Jitesh Gopalakrishnan sees growth in opportunity in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman.
The company works with Certified Angus Beef (CAB) out of Dubai to supply 6,000 products – 20 percent of which are proteins – to fine-dining restaurants and upscale hotels across the region.
“We’ve grown well over the past two years, and we have a regional portfolio,” Gopalakrishnan said. “The market is looking good, so we expect to grow more in the coming years.”
While the market is traditional a middle-meat market, efforts to expose consumers to higher value cuts have paid off.
“We’ve been starting to get some good traction on the end cut, and that’s really because we’ve been going out and doing demos on the end cuts,” Gopalakrishnan explained. “We give free samples to the customers and say, this has more value.”
He added, “Rather than buying a tenderloin, use a tri-tip or a top sirloin, which will add more value on a flank steak.”
The company has grown 300 percent in the last two years, and today, they import four to five container loads in the market in just a two-year span. Well over 100 tons of product have been shipped to the company during that time, which only adds more value more cattle producers that reaches all the way back to the ranch.
Gopalakrishnan commented, “Since we’ve added CAB into our portfolio, we’ve had magical growth in the amount of business we do.”
Gopalakrishnan shared the story of Chef Middle East during a recent edition of Angus VNR, provided by Certified Angus Beef, LLC and the American Angus Association. Visit cabcattle.com or angus.org for more information.