Nationwide sales of fresh beef at retail got a boost earlier this year as the result of a beef industry partnership with the mobile consumer rebates app Ibotta. Overall, the Federation of State Beef Councils of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) invested $600,000 in reserve funds in the partnership, which ran through early February. Local state beef councils also added $90,000 to help boost the campaign in specific states.
In the campaign, consumers who downloaded the app could browse the grocery category for small rebates on fresh ground beef products, unlock the rebates and after reviewing educational information about beef through a short recipe, message or video get cash back on the beef items they bought at any grocery store nationwide.
Results from the ground beef Ibotta campaign, which was managed by NCBA, significantly surpassed standard Ibotta campaigns. The redemption rate for ground beef was nearly 40 percent, almost double the average Ibotta redemption rate of 23 percent. There were about 1.45 million consumer engagements, with beef rebates unlocked after consumers got the videos, recipes and messages. Of those, more than 576,000 consumers redeemed the rebates. The 4-week campaign resulted in more than 631,000 pounds of ground beef sold.
Other campaign results were just as significant, according to Jerry Effertz, a beef producer from Velva, N.D., and chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils. Ibotta campaign analytics showed that when consumers were offered the small (25 to 50 cent) rebates on ground beef, they also bought other whole muscle cuts, such as steaks or roasts, which were not offered on rebate. According to Ibotta receipt data, the average Ibotta user spent $7.80 on beef products.
“These results suggest our efforts inspired more beef trial and usage,” Effertz says. “Consumers were buying more beef overall, and that’s one of the things this Ibotta campaign was meant to accomplish.”
Furthermore, during the 4-week Ibotta users increased their beef buying overall and decreased the amount of other protein (such as pork and chicken) they were buying. Beef’s protein market share increased by 14 percent, and beef maintained a 9 percent market share increase even two months after the campaign ended, the data showed. This highlighted a second Ibotta campaign objective: drive people back to beef after years of record-high beef prices, when many consumers may have stepped away from the product.