Want to Beef Up Your Meat Sales? Educate Your Shoppers on These Beef Basics.
Apr 18, 2022
Strip steak. Sirloin. Chuck roll. Flank steak. Natural Angus. USDA Prime or Choice. If you’re a beef retailer or grocer, you probably see these terms every day—and you probably know them in and out. But your shoppers might not, despite their gravitation toward the meat case. According to the Power of Meat 2022 Report, 74% of people say “meat eater” describes how they eat today, up 3% from 2021. Total meat sales reached $81.8 billion in 2021, with fresh beef dominating meat department sales. In 2021, fresh beef accounted for $30.1 billion, which is more than all other fresh meat categories combined.
It’s clear that consumers still love beef—and the Power of Meat 2022 study also shows that consumers are still looking to try new things, whether that means choosing a new cut of meat or a different method for cooking it.
As the grocery industry adapts to the “new normal” of online shopping, changing consumer behaviors, and an online-forward shopping experience, it will be even more important for grocery retailers to distinguish themselves and connect with shoppers.
Creating a marketing strategy for profitable products like beef is imperative in building consumer loyalty. And a vital part of an effective marketing strategy—especially in a market where consumers have endless choices—is education.
In this article, we’ll share the beef smarts that shoppers are looking for and how you can guide them in their purchasing decisions.
1. Beef Cooking Methods: Boost Your Shoppers’ Beef IQ
Slow cookers and the grill are tried and true methods for cooking meats, but not everyone knows how to prepare beef with them. The latest Power of Meat report shares that online searches are highest for oven and stove top methods. However, consumers are exhibiting an interest in new cooking methods. For example, appliances like Instant Pots and air fryers are gaining traction among all consumer groups, with air fryers and Instant Pots “mak[ing] enormous inroads as well, particularly among young consumers. In fact, searches for meat/poultry air fryer recipes exceed those for oven and stove top recipes among Gen Z.” These insights reveal an excellent opportunity for educating consumers about beef preparation methods, particularly using trending appliances like air fryers, Instant Pots, and even fire pits.
Sous vide, for example, is an easy, consistent way to prepare meat, but only 6% of households use it frequently. This number could mean consumers don’t know how to use it—or that they favor other methods. Offering straightforward directions, whether on social media, your blog, or in-store, on basic and trending cooking methods for beef will help consumers expand their “meat IQ” and demonstrate that you care about their interests and tastes. Share air fryer, pressure cooker, or sous vide recipes, infographics on cooking or grilling times, or short instructional videos to build interest and confidence in new cooking methods.
Examples of Sous Video Content
2. How to Prepare Different Beef Cuts: Promote Underperforming or High-Margin Products
Although the pandemic brought numerous challenges to the meat industry and beyond, two of the positives in our industry include a higher meat IQ and willingness to experiment with dishes among shoppers. The Power of Meat reports between 2019 and 2022 have shown that shoppers are experimenting more with different meat cuts now than in previous years. This shift could be due to shoppers cooking more meals at home or from a heightened interest in experimenting with new recipes, fueled in part by TikTok and video content platforms. Regardless of the reasons driving these behaviors, it’s important to not only offer a variety of beef cuts, but to educate your shoppers on how to prepare them. Previous research shows consumers are afraid of “messing up” beef dishes, which could mean they’ll gravitate toward the cuts they already know how to prepare, especially if an eating experience falls short. Further, the latest Power of Meat report lists recipes/how-tos by cut of meat as the second-highest search on social media and search engines (52%).
Instilling confidence in preparing the “lesser-known” beef cuts and long-time favorites is one way to direct consumers to priority products, whether higher-margin cuts or products nearing their “best-by” date. It’s also a way to improve the experience of your product, which translates to consumer loyalty.
Your strategy for promoting beef cuts and cooking methods should depend on the products available, and if your store offers grills, sous vide machines, and other appliances. We recommend sharing a cheat sheet, posting an in-store infographic, and developing “bite-size” social content to reach customers where they are. You can also include cooking methods on the packaging or share Aspen Ridge consumer content on how to prepare beef cuts.
Best Ways to Prepare Beef Cuts, at a Glance
At Aspen Ridge, we aim to bring consumers the finest beef eating experiences every single time. We want consumers to fully experience the mouthwatering flavors of Natural Angus beef, so we’ve developed content educating customers on the best ways to cook beef. Below are descriptions and cooking methods we recommend using for common beef cuts that you can share with your shoppers.
3. Definitions of Beef Attributes and Claims
Beyond how-tos, an essential part of beef advertising is education on beef attributes and claims. Shoppers have more options to navigate than ever at the meat case, which means you’ll want to help them locate the choices that best align with their unique values and expectations.
Communicate and define noteworthy qualities of your beef products, from the source to the USDA beef quality grade. Beef qualities and attributes can be both a priority and a point of confusion for consumers, making attractive packaging, a content strategy, and ultimately, the right supplier, even more important.
Learn More About How to Market Beef in Your Store
Looking for more beef advertising and marketing tips? At Aspen Ridge, we provide our retail partners with marketing collateral that helps illustrate our products’ story and ultimately encourages more trips to your store. Read the Aspen Ridge consumer blog or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to download materials for educating your consumers about Natural Angus Beef. You can also download our retailer case study for more information on how one retailer used strategic marketing support to bolster specialty beef sales.
 FMI Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education. Power of Meat 2022 Report. 2022.
 FMI Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education. Power of Meat 2021 Report. 2021.