'Taste of the Legend' Touts Advantages of US Beef for Polish Restaurants

POLAND - Showing popular Polish restaurants the commercial benefits of serving US beef, USMEF teamed up with a major food distributor to host "Taste of the Legend", a citywide festival in Warsaw. Supported by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office and the US Embassy, the Beef Checkoff Program funded the festival.
calendar icon 26 February 2018
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Taste of the Legend was a follow-up to a series of smaller US beef promotional events held in the market over the past year, noted Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the European Union.

Mr Barutkin added that USMEF’s approach in Poland is not only to highlight the presence of US beef, but also appeal to the loyalties and emotions of consumers.

"US beef is a rather expensive product by Polish standards, so the idea of the festival was to promote US beef as of the perfect choice for a special occasion – an excellent way for Polish consumers to treat themselves to something special," Mr Barutkin explained.

"We framed the promotion by associating US beef with other legends that are usually associated with the United States. Visual materials used in the campaign made references to jazz, rock and roll, Route 66, Harley Davidson motorcycles, skyscrapers, American football, cowboys and the Rocky Mountains. Since the US culture is popular in Poland, the idea was well-received."

USMEF Representative Yuri Barutkin discusses US beef at the Taste of the Legend festival in Warsaw [Photo: USMEF]

Taste of the Legend included 16 restaurants across Warsaw. Each of them developed special menus anchored by US beef, with many featuring alternative cuts such as flank steaks and steaks from the chuck.

The festival, which received a great deal of positive media attention, was advertised through social media and in several health and food magazines in Poland. A launch ceremony took place at the Hard Rock Café in Warsaw, where Paul Jones, US ambassador to Poland, welcomed participants to a celebration targeting the HRI and retail sectors and local media.

Previous US beef events included USMEF cutting demonstrations in three major Polish cities – Krakow, Gdansk and Warsaw. In those efforts, USMEF and Polish food distributor ElkoPol focused on introducing alternative beef cuts to HRI and retail professionals. Those events also provided an opportunity to highlight the availability of US beef in the Polish market, reminding attendees of US beef’s competitive advantages and attributes.

Poland is one of the largest consumer markets in the EU. However, the country still has very low per capita beef consumption – a fact that is commonly blamed on the low quality of domestic beef.

"The low rate of beef consumption makes us believe that we can achieve substantial growth with a limited amount of resources," said Mr Barutkin. "Our goal is to convince Polish consumers that beef can be consistent and stable in quality, and that if you cook with US beef you can achieve great results every time."

As for the status of the Polish market for US beef, Mr Barutkin believes USMEF is starting on the path to make US beef more relevant.

"Poland has every reason to become a solid destination for US beef exports – relatively high incomes, a population that is keen on trying new food items, a rapidly developing restaurant market and plenty of educated young chefs," Mr Barutkin said.

"And we can’t forget a couple of other important factors – the low per capita consumption of beef, the interest in US culture and products and the enthusiasm of USMEF partners such as ElkoPol."

Examples of Polish media coverage of the Taste of the Legend festival:

Warsaw Foodie
Warszawa od Kuchni Naszemiasto

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