The recipe for increasing beef demand among consumers

News
Jan 22, 2010
by WLJ

“What we’ve done is taken each cut and shown consumers, in an appealing way, where they come from on an animal, how to approach them with a cooking technique, and why we are using that technique.”

—New Web site features empower consumers for meat case decisions.

Pop quiz, ranchers:

Which of the following is a beef cut? Hanging tender, butterfly top, or sierra cut?

Trick question … they all are.

Now, match each cut to its respective primal: chuck, loin or rib. Got that? And which should be braised and which broiled? Should you marinate or dry rub? Will 2 pounds feed a family of five?

As cattlemen, you spend every day with the animals that produce this meat. Still, there’s no shame in admitting you did not score well on the quiz. On the other hand, you might say it’s a shame that consumers have to deal with those tricky questions when navigating the protein aisle at the supermarket. On a good day, they’ll stick around and ask the local meat manager to decipher the beef lingo into edible meal ideas.

On a bad day (for you and them), they’ll keep walking, right to the poultry aisle where things are simple: boneless, skinless chicken breasts or allwhite-meat nuggets? There goes the beef demand your pocketbook so desperately needs.

“As a chef, one of the questions I get asked most by consumers is, ‘What do

I do with this cut of meat? How do I prepare it?’” says chef Scott Popovic, chef for the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand.

Maybe the butcher decided to get creative this fall and you’re asking the same questions.

“One of the things we wanted to do to answer those questions was create a home on the Web that boils all this information down to simple, easy-tounderstand information for beef consumers,” says chef Michael Ollier, also with the CAB brand. The Web site, www.certifiedangus beef.com, features a new, interactive beef cuts chart, electronic recipe file, and nearly 300 beef recipes that explain cooking-method hows and whys.

“What we’ve done is taken each cut and shown consumers, in an appealing way, where they come from on an animal, how to approach them with a cooking technique, and why we are using that technique,” Popovic says. The site also features selection tips, alternative names, explanations of regional specialties, and photos of cuts as seen in a grocer’s meat case.

“Consumers are looking for information that will enable them to plan a meal, know what they’re looking for when they get to the meat case, and then go home and turn it into a delicious dinner,” Ollier says. “We unrolled all these features on certifiedangus beef.com because it’s such a valuable service to beef consumers.”

Time for another quiz, folks.

Question: What happens when a consumer is educated on quality products?

Answer: They become empowered purchasers.

That, Ollier says, is the key to creating pull-through demand for the Angus ranchers who produce for the brand. “It is such a long process between where that product is created to where it is cooked. We want to be a resource on all facets of the beef industry, from helping ranchers understand the best practices for raising high-quality cattle, to giving consumers the resources they need to enjoy that product. “The new website is really a one-stop shop of resources on beef quality,” Ollier says. Cattlemen can find producer resources at the company’s other site, www. CABpartners.com. — WLJ

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