Country of Origin as a Brand: The Case of New Zealand Lamb

Roxanne Clemens, Bruce A. Babcock
November 2004  [04-MBP 9]

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Suggested citation:

Clemens, R. and B.A. Babcock. 2004. "Country of Origin as a Brand: The Case of New Zealand Lamb." MATRIC briefing paper 04-MBP 9. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


New Zealand has used country-of-origin labeling (COOL) as a "country brand" to differentiate New Zealand lamb in international markets and increase consumer awareness of this lamb as a high-quality imported product. The case of New Zealand lamb is especially interesting as an unsubsidized commodity product competing against subsidized lamb in some of the most competitive and sophisticated retail markets in the world. Given New Zealand's dependence on international markets, producers, processors, and exporters needed to develop strategies to create and maintain a strong positive image for their product. This paper explores the history of New Zealand lamb exports, the focus on quality and meeting consumer specifications, and differences in the use and effectiveness of New Zealand as a country brand for lamb in different import markets. The paper also notes how COOL regulations might create country brands that increase demand for imported meats.

Keywords: brand story, COOL, country brand, country of origin labeling, lamb, lamb exports, New Zealand.