Supermarkets in the Netherlands show that retailers there are keen to stock premium products and differentiate conventional produce from any factors that can guarantee a price premium.

Branding varies from simple country of origin labelling and organics, to more specific product labels, like breed-specific ranges and animal welfare-friendly marketed meat.

South American beef is branded on shelves alongside Irish beef, with domestically produced Dutch cuts also labelled as such.

Irish beef is not always sold under country-specific branding as some Irish beef finds its way into own-brand supermarket packaging not pushed as having any notable attributes, needing close product examination to determine the country of origin.

Another notable difference from Ireland in the meat service sector is the proliferation of South American steakhouse chains in Amsterdam.

No Bord Bia labelling or promotional material could be seen throughout any of the stores visited by the Irish Farmers Journal on the trip on which the following observation were made.

South American steakhouses feature prominently along central Amsterdam's high streets. / Noel Bardon

Albert Heijn

The largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands

Albert Heijn stocks Irish beef branded with Greenfield labelling.

Minute steaks under this label can be found on sale for €21/kg while mince makes €12/kg.

The value added by a further degree of processing pushed the price of sandwich-ready Greenfield’s peppered roast beef to €28/kg.

Irish beef features in most major Dutch supermarket chains under the Greenfields branding. / Noel Bardon

Own-brand steak cuts sell for €23.18/kg while own-brand processed beef, such as burgers, meatballs and mince, are usually the lowest non-reduced priced beef products on offer, dropping below the €10/kg mark for larger pack sizes.

Organic Dutch burgers sell for higher prices of around €15/kg, with organic mince coming in a euro or two less per kilo.

Higher-value cuts of Uruguayan beef are also displayed in Albert Heijn’s stores, with rump steaks at €35/kg alongside some finer-quality South American cuts of pork priced as high as €35/kg.

Uruguayan steak on shelves for €35/kg.


The second largest but more affordable retailer chain

In Jumbo, Irish-labelled beef medallions aged for a month were on offer for €33.90/kg, meaning a two-pack of medallions weighing in at 150g apiece would come to just over €10 for shoppers.

Some Irish beef is sold under the Jumbo own brand label without a price premium.

Irish beef being sold as under undifferentiated own brand labelling on supermarket shelves. This ribeye comes in at €42/kg for shoppers. / Noel Bardon

Organic beef burgers farmed in the Netherlands were selling for €19.39/kg. There are abundant organic options available for shoppers in-store, with noticeable, bright green labelling highlighting all organic goods on offer.