Foyle Food Group breaks into US beef market

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Foyle Food Group has secured access to the US for its beef products
Foyle Food Group has secured access to the US for its beef products

Related tags: Meat & Seafood

Gloucester-based beef processor Foyle Food Group has won approval to export its products to the US, the fourth site to gain access to the market since restriction lifted late last year.

Foyle Food Group is now listed on the official USDA Approved list after extensive work by the company, with help from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the UK Export Certification Partnership.

Previous beef processing sites to gain improve included sites run by WD Meats and Keepak and a second Foyle site. These four sites compliment the growth of pork exports to the US – up 76% in the first quarter of 2021 to £3.8m compared to the previous year.

US demand for premium

The US market has also experienced price rises for beef and an increased demand for premium products, driven by changing purchasing behaviour across all income groups.

Commenting on these market changes, AHDB market development director Phil Hadley said: “Like their UK counterparts, US consumers are seeking quality meat to recreate the restaurant experience at home, resulting in a switch to premium products.

“I consider our products to fill this desire in the US, as they are high value with added credentials around our native breeds and farming methods.”

These observations were bolstered by an increase in volume of premium beef products sold at retail in the US – up 55% in dollar value, 52% compared to ‘standard’ products and 11% in volume.

Export potential

“AHDB recognises the opportunity that North America offers and has increased in-country resources and activity to maximise the potential for our levy payers.”​ Hadley added.  “Since access was granted, the UK has exported over £3m of beef, adding value across the supply chain.”

John Wilkes, AHDB’s representative in Washington DC, argued that US consumers no longer view higher retail prices for premium meat products for home consumption negatively – as opposed to the much higher costs of a premium experience in a restaurant.

“Consumers are prepared to increase spend to have a meal experience which in turn has led to a decrease in demand for “cheap meat,”​ he continued. “This augers well for UK beef and pork products, often sold at a premium with added claims such as high welfare and high production standards.”

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood, Operations

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