Revolutionary Retail Approach a Requirement

UK - Retailers and processors can avoid being squeezed by even higher slaughter cattle prices if they adjust their carcase mix and generate more income by being innovative with forequarter beef.
calendar icon 17 February 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The National Beef Association believes further, supply driven, lifts in slaughter cattle prices are inevitable at a time when consumer preferences have moved dramatically away from expensive cuts like fillet steak towards less glamorous forequarter staples such as mince and stewing beef.

“Retailers and processors know its important to keep pace with recession led shifts in demand, which have already raised the value of the forequarter from 30 per cent of total carcase spread to around 40 per cent,” explained NBA director, Kim Haywood.

“If consumers are chasing mince, which could soon account for 50 per cent of beef that is sold to eat at home, and are also turning their back on high priced traditional cuts like sirloin steaks and roasts, then the industry could make adjustments so that it can preserve its income.”

According to the NBA this could mean taking a revolutionary approach to mince by dramatically widening both the price and quality ranges while at the same time being more innovative with roasts which could, for example, offer a range of portion sizes or possibly be prepared and cooked in store like roast chickens. Portions could be sliced ready for serving at the table.

“Producing mince has always been the ideal way to reduce waste by using a range of trimmings and then measuring product quality through the proportion of visual lean – or absence of fat,” said Ms Haywood.

“But if more is going to be sold, and more of it is going to include portions taken from higher quality cuts, it is important that a multi-tiered approach is developed so even more mince can be sold for more money.”

“If necessary this could mean “supreme” beef burgers, exclusively using sirloin, or even fillet, being developed and a similar line being taken to mince sold through supermarkets.”

“The NBA has no doubt that supply shortages will continue to make slaughter cattle more expensive over the weeks, months, and years to come and if the processing and distribution system is to flourish, and the service to consumers maintained, then processors and retailers will have to make sure their incomes are secure.”

“At the end of January the average retail price of mince rose by 4.5 per cent in a single week and was selling for almost £4 a kilo (£3.95) compared with less than £2 only two years ago.”

“Shop prices have to continue to move forward to keep pace. If consumer tastes are changing and there is an opportunity to develop multi-tiered sales of products that were previously thought to be low value, processors and retailers cannot turn their back on this challenge,” Ms Haywood added.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.