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Costco Canada Launches Premium Beef Program

Dec 29, 2009

The Beef Information Centre (BIC) has partnered with Costco Canada to launch a premium beef program that features only Canada Prime beef.

Canada Prime is the highest grade of beef Canada has to offer. Selected for most marbling, Canada Prime provides outstanding flavour, juiciness and tenderness. Less than two per cent of all Canadian graded beef in 2008 qualified to be of Canada Prime level.

Traditionally found at only the finest of restaurants, Costco’s Prime program is currently being tested in a number of strategically chosen Costco stores in western Canada with plans to roll out to additional locations nationally over the next six months.

Costco Canada has a long-standing commitment to Canadian AAA beef and is a market leader in the Canadian retail sector. All Costco outlets in Canada display the Canadian beef brand logo on-pack, and on the wall above the fresh meat case. With the new program in select Costco locations, the Canada Prime beef packages display the Prime designation in a specially designed logo, with the Canadian beef brand mark.

These initiatives, along with the new premium beef program, illustrates why Costco Canada leads the market in leveraging the value Canadian beef provides and the positive image Canadian beef has with Canadian consumers.

“The strong commitment by Costco for Canadian AAA beef demonstrates to the entire retail industry that carrying Canadian beef and labelling it with the Canadian beef brand mark offers a competitive advantage in the retail meat case,” says John Gillespie, BIC’s chair and a feedlot operator near Ayr, Ont. “This initiative allows the industry to capture additional value for the carcass by identifying and selling Canadian prime carcasses at a premium versus AAA where they normally would have been sold.”

As part of the new program, BIC worked with Costco to develop an information sheet for consumers, available at the meat case. This promotional sheet describes the attributes of Canada Prime and the exceptional eating experience consumers can expect from this premium product. The promo sheet also directs readers to BIC’s consumer website ( for recipes.

BIC’s efforts to maximize demand for Canadian beef and optimize the value of Canadian beef products is funded in part by cattle producers through the National Beef Check-Off, and through beef industry market development funds provided by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.