AUSTRALIA'S beef industry is rallying to ensure the home cooking boom underway on the back of the pandemic yields a long lasting increase in the red meat on dining room tables.
As more consumers try their hand at serving up cuts traditionally seen in food service, ensuring they have the information, skills - and inspiration - to make a masterpiece they will want to repeat has been the focus for beef marketers.
Meat & Livestock Australia has partnered with top-rating cooking show MasterChef Australia on Network 10 to ensure beef is showcased on prime time television.
Utilising the 'Australian Beef. The Greatest' platform, the campaign will see both advertisements aired during the MasterChef timeslot, brand billboards running throughout the program and beef featuring in a challenge for contestants in late June.
MasterChef Australia season 12 features the judging panel of Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen, with over one million viewers expected to tune in across Australia each night.
MLA domestic marketing manager Graeme Yardy said while the home cooking trend was not new, the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 had certainly brought to the fore the things that are important to Australian families.
Sharing a good quality meal was one of the 'simple, great' things in life, he said.
The crisis had also highlighted just how much access people had to fantastic meat and produce in this country, he said.
"MasterChef a fantastic example of celebrating the quality of ingredients. It's a perfect fit with Australian beef," he said.
One thing that consumer insight research has consistently shown is that people are looking for both inspiration and information, Mr Yardy said.
"MasterChef is a great way to show the how to, but also the potential, of beef," he said.
The challenge in which contestants use Australian beef would reinforce and demonstrate beef's versatility and ease across a range of dishes - two key messages in the Beef The Greatest campaign, Mr Yardy said.
"With COVID-19 having a significant impact on the food service sector domestically and internationally, there has been a need to shift the types of cuts traditionally seen in food service into retail, so demonstrating to consumers how to use those cuts at home has been a real focus of our activities," he said.
"We are also working with the retailers to align Australian Beef promotions in-store."
Australian Beef is an official partner of Australia's Olympic and Paralympic teams, but with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games being postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19, marketers have had to tap into new channels.
Tune in to MasterChef Australia, Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm, or catch up on all the episodes on 10play.