Where ever you go, and what ever you hear (even on this site) every body is talking about the high cost of meat in general but its beef that takes it on the chin most of the time. Actually that’s a good thing. What this tells me is that the people complaining about the high prices “love beef”. At retail there isn’t much we can do about the prices as they are set for us. No doubt we can see the steaks and roast sitting in the case with not much movement unless they are featured. Further more how small does one have to cut a roast to make it affordable for the customer, and will it in fact remain a roast!
The subject that I am about to talk about is not a subject that will be embraced by all because it will require more labor and presentation. Never the less it will guarantee more sales movement. Creating a “thin-sliced” display section within the beef display area will catch the eyes of shoppers that had no intention of paying the high price for a beef steak. Sure we all know that a good grilled steak needs to be thicker to really enjoy the eating experience but not all can afford those high ticket packages. For example at a local chain store today their choice Angus N.Y. strip steaks were marked at $12.95 per lb. Two steaks in a package came to nearly that amount. There was also a display with one steak and depending on the thickness ran $7.50 to $10.00.
Most shoppers look at total package cost not so much per pound cost. So if a customer sees 6 strip steaks for $12.95 that would make her stop and have a look see. Or if she saw 8 thinly sliced top round steaks for the price of a pound that too would make her stop. It’s really psychological. That can work with rib-eye steaks, eye round steaks and even tenderloin steaks and others. And in order to accomplish this type of psychological merchandising you need to have a good operating boloney slicer. Because you can’t thinly slice by hand. A good sharp boloney slicer will keep your thin sliced steaks uniform with consistent thickness.
Stay with me here for a minute. I have a pet peeve and its called beef minute steaks. The grocery department sells 100 times more minute steaks than the meat department ever will. How, with the best-known sandwich steak brand in America” Steakums! And we in the meat departments lets them get away with that. I have visited the Steakum plant and saw how their made. They are made from 50/50 trimmings. Why heck, if I owned my own butcher shop I would be selling a ton of that stuff because it is one item that even a produce clerk could make. LOL>
Steakums is almost a staple for most families. So while we wring our hands watching expensive steaks just sit there in our cases our customers are filling up on Steakums; and for some unknown reason you can’t find a minute steak package in the meat case! And if you do find them there may be a package or two. The market share of thinnly-sliced-beef is there for the taking if only we can change our thinking a little. A 9 ounce box of Seakums cost about $4.00 which equates to $7.11 per pound for beef trimmings.
A 4 ounce portion of Steakums contains 349 calories, 31 grams of total fat and 18% protein. A 4 ounce portion of either loin or round meat contains 165 calories, 5.8 grams of total fat and a whopping 26% protein. (Educate your customers)
You just can’t create any attention with just having a few thin sliced steaks stuck in here or there. You’ve got to have a display, your own display of minute steaks and explain to your customers that yours are real muscle meat, not beef trimmings extruded and emulsified. And further more the original Philly Chees Steak Sandwich was made with cow-rib eyes not 50/50 trim. I’ve heard you guys talk about “pink slime” well boys and girls you have just about the same thing with Steakums.
So get out there and get some of those grocery sales back in the meat department where they belong!