Case Study: American Heart Association® Certification Program

Three Select-grade Top Sirloin beef cuts that meet USDA criteria for "extra-lean" and certified by the American Heart Association® to bear its Heart-Check mark were tested by the Beef Checkoff during an in-market test with two retailers, a middle-America grocery chain and a regional grocery chain across the Southeast, to gauge the impact of the program.

The result: Purchase intent and sales improved. Consumers were very receptive to the beef items that featured the Heart-Check mark on pack.

In-Store Program Execution

A full range of merchandising elements were implemented in the participating retail locations, including in-store radio announcements in one chain. Over 300 in-store intercept interviews were conducted to determine shoppers’ awareness of the program’s messages and merchandising elements. Purchase interest was also measured through an analysis of beef sales data provided by the two grocery chains

Program Elements

On-pack labels


Shelf talkers and meat case signs

Iron man signs


Consumer recipe brochures

Cutting guides


Recipes and images

Key Learnings:

  • Purchase intent was off the charts, with 96% indicating they definitely or probably would buy one of these three cuts (assuming a “reasonable” cost).
  • 50% of the respondents stated that the purchase of one of these three test cuts would be incremental to their usual beef purchases.
  • The American Heart Association® Heart-Check mark was noted as being extremely or very important by 45% of respondents who had previously purchased one of the three cuts.
  • 47% of the study respondents noted that they would be much more likely to shop at retailers offering beef products that displayed the Heart-Check mark.


Please note that the Heart-Check Food Certification does not apply to  recipes or links to other information] unless expressly stated.  For more information, see the American Heart Association® nutrition guidelines at:

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