AWARD-WINNING Queensland black Angus brand, Angus Reserve, is making solid inroads for premium Australian beef with the world's biggest retailer of prime beef - Costco.
NH Foods Australia's Angus Reserve, which has just won champion Meat Standards Australia-graded branded beef at the 2020 Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show, is produced at the Oakey plant on the Darling Downs.
It meets exacting conditions on marbling, age, weight, meat colour and fat colour, and cattle supply comes from across Australia's east coast.
The membership-only retail giant Costco has been selling Angus Reserve since 2013 and it is today available through all 12 Costco warehouses across Australia.
The company's Marcel Moodley said Costco Australia had sold almost $150 million worth of the brand and sales were continuing to grow. Angus Reserve fitted neatly with Costco's philosophy of offering quality products, he said.
The brand is also retailed via selected butchers in metropolitan and regional areas along the east coast. Brisket is retailed in select barbecue specialist stores.
ALSO READ: How one beef brand has defied COVID
Angus Reserve is Australia's biggest Verified Black Angus Beef (VBAB) brand, through Angus Australia's verification program.
NH Foods' brand manager Nadine Giusti said the brand's reputation was built on two strong foundations - quality and taste.
For the Australian market, it is grainfed for 150 days and a minimum two-plus marbling score is guaranteed.
"The brand is MSA-graded, which is a world-leading eating quality system," Ms Giusti said.
"So, for a consumer this is their sign that tenderness, juiciness, and flavour is guaranteed with every taste.
"In addition, consumers can be certain what they are purchasing is what we say - black Angus beef - as we are audited by Angus Australia."
The brand has consistently performed well in competitions - both on the domestic front and on a global stage. In 2018, it was the inaugural winner of the Darling Downs Beef Battle, and last year was crowned World Champion Brisket in the USA.
Outside of Australia, Angus Reserve brand is sold to more than a dozen global markets, including Italy, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China.
"The brand continues to perform well for us year-in and year-out and, as such, it provides an opportunity for us to make greater inroads to emerging markets, such as Vietnam and Thailand - where both customers and consumers alike are increasing their appetite for quality Australian premium beef," Ms Giusti said.
"We will continue to grow this brand both in Australia and abroad. As we have over 40 years experience in the Australian beef industry, our buyers are very pleased with the consistent product and outstanding eating quality that is achieved through vertical integration of both our feedlot and processing plant.
"Minor modifications to the brand can be made that best suit a variety of markets and this enables us to have even greater demand expectations into the future."
Angus Australia's progressive verification program provides validity to Angus claims for beef brands.
Along with Angus Reserve, it underpins brands such as Jack's Creek's Black Angus, Rangers Valley's Black Onyx and Three Creek Beef.
"These brand owners work closely with Angus Australia, as the representative of all Australian Angus farmers, to ensure integrity and truth-in-labelling and confidence for the consumers that their brand is verifiably Angus," Angus Australia's commercial supply chain manager Liz Pearson said.
"Involvement in the Angus Brand Verification demonstrates a commitment by these brand owners to the protection and enhancement of the Angus breed."
Angus Australia is the only independent verifier of Angus breed claims. The program runs two levels of verification: Verified Black Angus Beef, which is 100 per cent Angus; and Verified Angus Beef, which is a minimum 75 per cent Angus.
A high quality verification program was critical to the breed's future, Ms Pearson said. Along with delivering quality guarantees, it reduces risks of imposter Angus product, provides satisfaction of customer requirements for independent verification and increases demand for Angus-branded beef over non-verified brands.
Industry and consumer recognition of the Angus breed claims results in premium placement in the market, Ms Pearson said.
"Angus Australia is targeting specific marketing activities associated to ABV, including brand support at major overseas food trade shows, supermarkets, restaurants and promotion of verified brands," she said.