Lazy, Dismally Unimaginative And Depressing Retailing

UK - Multiple retailers must be shocked out of their unbelievably lazy approach to beef otherwise many of their customers will soon be unable to buy home produced cuts when they want them, says the National Beef Associtation.
calendar icon 31 August 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

“Supermarkets are held to be hugely efficient, forward thinking, operations but their cobwebby beef departments have either fallen into a comfortable time warp or they are culpably unaware of the supply problems they are creating for themselves in the near future,” the National Beef Association’s new chairman, Oisin Murnion, has warned.

According to the NBA multiples are taking an indolent, near suicidal, approach to beef retailing by flooding their shelves with mince retailing at an average of £3.70 a kilo and pushing more interesting and profitable cuts, selling for between £9 and £19 a kilo, into the corners.

“Mince already accounts for half the beef that is taken home for meals and if more of it goes on the shelves then more beef cattle will be massively devalued and more farmers will give up producing it,” said Mr Murnion.

Currently the UK’s beef farmers are smarting at being paid an average of just 265p a carcase kilo for valuable cattle that are worth at least 320p and the fault lies with retailers who undersell the product because they lack the imagination to add more value to it.

“Beef displays in supermarkets are dismally thin and depressing. If you can see past the mountains of mince all you will find are token offerings of stewing steak, sirloin roasts, heavily promoted topside and, if you are lucky, some reasonable rump steak or fillet,” said Mr Murnion.

“The contrast between this retail wasteland and the knowledgeable displays constructed by High Street butchers who are committed to adding as much value as possible to the beef carcase and take a professional pride in the depth, and range, of product on their counters is nothing short of shocking.”

“Beef departments in supermarkets appear content to offer just five very basic cuts while some butchers could offer fifty covering the widest possible range of convenience, attractiveness and price.”

“In these circumstances the NBA has no qualms in advising consumers who are interested in beef to turn their backs on the multiples and return to enjoying shopping for beef prepared and presented by a skilled butcher instead – and will be doing so in future.”

“There is more to beef retailing than stacking up mountains of mince – and using it as discount lure to pull in customers from rival outfits. If the supermarkets continue with these myopic plans they will kill the domestic beef industry and the NBA cannot stand idly by and let that happen,” Mr Murnion added.

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