(Cyndee) Going into the recession, things didn’t look so good for beef demand. But everyone can now breathe a sigh of relief, says new research from Oklahoma State University. (VanOverbeke) Really, when we started looking at it, spending is back to pre-recession levels, you see the impact of that price and convenience and eating satisfaction are still important contributors to buying beef product. You still see demand for steaks. You even have lower-income households that are making more meals with meat. Although that may be ground beef, but it’s still using meat. And you still see a great demand for beef product, even with the recession that we’ve been through. (Cyndee) Millennials—those who are 18 to 34-years old—consume more beef than those over 35. That’s encouraging. (VanOverbeke) Everyone says they don’t know how to cook and what to do. But you see them using it more, cooking in-home meals with meat, as well as eating meat more in restaurants, no matter whether it’s full-service or whether it’s a quick-service, or whether it’s the booming burger value chains that are out there. And so, the fact that millennials are eating more beef than the other groups, and that they’re willing to pay for steaks and ground beef and any cut, is huge for the beef industry. (Cyndee) The research also pointed to a growing trend toward higher demand for branded beef products. (VanOverbeke) You can look at any product-ketchup, pickles, just take pop, right? Everyone has a brand that they prefer to consume. And that brand loyalty is carrying through with beef products now. You see more people that would prefer a national brand over a store brand. And so, the impact of brands, no matter what brand it is, CAB or any brand, once you can gain that customer, and if you can provide them the eating satisfaction that they’re looking for in a product that they like, they’re going to go back to that no matter what it costs because they know they can get the value. (Cyndee) Brands help consumers decode the meat case, and guarantee their grocery store investment is worth it. I’m Cyndee Campbell.