Armed with four years of research and development, dozens of focus groups and endorsements from a number of food critics, GFI will launch SmartMeat in three test markets this spring and summer and other markets later in the year. The company will spend an estimated $9 million on an ad campaign to launch the product in 1993. LaMaster Farmer Et Al, Minneapolis, was named agency of record and will create television, print, outdoor and radio ads.
'Beef consumption has really dropped off because doctors continue to advise their patients to cut back for health reasons, meaning cholesterol, fat and calories,' said Joe Goldberger, GFI director of sales. 'SmartMeat is the answer to that.'
GFI takes super-lean beef, typically tough and tasteless, and adds a no-cholesterol, vegetable-based marbling to the meat to add flavor and tenderness normally provided by fat. The meat is priced competitively and boasts at least 60-80% less fat and 40% less calories than comparable U.S.D.A. Choice steaks.
'We've been fighting a losing battle with respect to health concerns in the beef industry,' Goldberger said. 'This is a product that will help the industry turn itself around.'
The marketing challenge, Goldberger said, will be to not oversell the healthy aspect of SmartMeat, but promote the taste and quality of the beef. The product will also be positioned as a competitor of chicken and fish.
Consumers in Grand Rapids, Mich., Charleston, S.C. and Phoenix will find SmartMeat in their freezer case in the form of steaks (ribeye, strip, filet) and hamburgers. GFI plans a national rollout in 1994.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)