NEWS WATCH

GRILLING PROMOTION DELIVERS RESULTSpated in the 2002 Summer Grilling promotion, conducted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, saw fresh beef sales more than double compared to overall fresh meat sales. According to an analysis of the results, participating stores posted a 2% increase in beef sales during the 15-week campaign, while total fresh meat sales grew less than 1% during the same

GRILLING PROMOTION DELIVERS RESULTS

pated in the 2002 Summer Grilling promotion, conducted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, saw fresh beef sales more than double compared to overall fresh meat sales. According to an analysis of the results, participating stores posted a 2% increase in beef sales during the 15-week campaign, while total fresh meat sales grew less than 1% during the same period. Retailers in the seven participating markets reported incremental sales of beef grilling cuts increased by 3 million pounds, representing a 10% increase, and retail dollar earnings went up $11.9 million, a 7% increase over the same period the previous year, officials said. The campaign included radio advertising spots that ran nationwide throughout the summer. More than 6,000 stores used 3,700 floor graphics, 109,000 cart signs, 800 window posters and millions of brochures and recipes, officials said. In addition, 35 state beef councils conducted their own Summer Grilling promotions to increase beef sales within their regions. The $2.8 million promotion was funded by the beef industry's $1-per-head checkoff program.

MORE RETAILERS SELL IRRADIATED GROUND BEEF

NEW YORK -- From New England to Missouri to Pennsylvania, additional retailers are now offering irradiated, fresh ground beef processed by SureBeam Corp. Giant Foods, Carlyle, Pa., started last week to offer the product in all 113 Giant banner stores in Pennsylvania and in Martin's Food Markets in neighboring states. Meanwhile, Dierbergs Markets, St. Louis, has added the SureBeam-processed product and Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Quincy, Mass., began offering it in its Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut stores. Later this month, its New York and New Jersey stores will get the product, officials said. The one-pound packages of irradiated, 85% lean and 93% lean, are merchandised in the fresh meat case as an option requested by customers in some instances. Meanwhile, Safeway is offering irradiated, fresh ground beef at all 136 units in its Eastern division; Weis Markets, Sunbury, Pa., is doing it in its market area; and Associated Wholesalers Inc., a Robesonia, Pa.-based cooperative distributor, is making the product available to its membership of 800 independent retailers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Safeway is selling the newly added item in one-pound packages of 85% and 93% lean; Weis is offering the same, though its 93% lean is available as patties. The recent additions bring the total to more than 2,100 individual stores in the Mid-Atlantic states, Northeast and Midwest that carry irradiated, fresh ground beef.