Offering Pre-packaged Meals in Your Meat Case? Use These Sides with Natural Angus Beef

Sep 23, 2020

Following the advent of meal kit subscription services, many retailers have introduced their own private label take-home meals for shoppers. Pre-packaged meals are a valuable opportunity for retailers and customers alike—Progressive Grocer notes that in-store meal kits offer consumers convenience and ease of preparation without the commitment required with a subscription service. The kits provide retailers with flexibility in their offerings and new ways to keep consumers returning to their stores.

While pre-packaged meal kit companies saw a dip in subscriptions over the past two years, as consumers continue to spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meal kit sales are seeing an upsurge both in-store and from subscription services—and, interestingly, from restaurants that are looking to reach customers dining at home.

57% of Gen Zers are afraid they’ll “mess up” when cooking meat – Power of Meat Study 2020

This shift in consumer buying behavior presents a unique opportunity for retailers to drive sales, particularly in meat and poultry departments. Prior to the pandemic, consumers were already seeking out value-added options more often, according to The Power of Meat 2020 study. In fact, the study reports that 60% of consumers say they buy value-added meat and poultry, and 33% of Gen Zers expect to purchase more value-added meat and poultry in the upcoming year. In dollars, value-added meat comprised $4.7 billion—9.3% of total meat dollars in 2019.

If you’re considering adding meal kits to your meat department or just looking for new ideas, creating your kits around beef and other proteins has plenty of benefits: it encourages consumers to try new dishes and beef cuts, makes preparation easier for them, and can drive value-added beef sales in your meat department.

Here are a few ideas for sides to pair with Natural Angus Beef in in-store meal kits for your customers.

Natural Angus Beef Roast: Root Vegetable Medley

Traditionally, beef roast—in meal kits and otherwise—is paired with potatoes, carrots, and onions, which are a good starting point. If you want to experiment with ingredients and help build consumer confidence in cooking other vegetables they wouldn’t typically buy, try adding turnips, rutabaga, and parsnips to the mix and include thyme, ground pepper, and butter in the kit. Pair these with Aspen Ridge Natural Angus chuck roll roast, and your customers will have a well-marbled, mouthwatering meal to enjoy with the new flavors.

Looking to add even more value? Share this Aspen Ridge® Natural Angus Beef recipe for classic chuck roll roast with your customers.

Natural Angus Chuck Roast

Natural Angus Sirloin Steak: Whole Grain Rice or Quinoa

Consumers are continuing to show an increased interest in healthy food options. At the same time, they’re looking for pre-packaged items that provide convenience and the right portion size. Consumers are interested in single-serve portions in particular, with 42% saying single-serve packages would be nice to have, according to the Power of Meat 2020 study.

Combining healthy sides with Natural Angus sirloin gives your consumers the best of both worlds—whole grain rice and quinoa compliment a lean, protein-packed cut of beef, giving your customers plenty of nutrients in a pre-portioned package. Get creative with Mediterranean or Korean-inspired additions to keep your customers coming back to try new dishes from your store.

Share this recipe for Natural Angus Sirloin Tips Over Rice to help boost beef and other sales in your store and drive consumer confidence in preparation.

Natural Angus Sirloin Tips Over Rice

Natural Angus Ribeye Steak: Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Natural Angus ribeye steaks are great with a number of sides, from baby red potatoes to asparagus to cauliflower. Including unique ingredients such as Japanese sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, or broccolini gives your customers a low-stakes opportunity to sample those ingredients, creating the potential for repeat purchases. Pairing these options with Natural Angus ribeye steak, butter, and garlic will give your customers a juicy, restaurant-worthy meal, helping establish you as an expert in all things food.

Need inspiration? Check out our exclusive recipe for Grilled Ribeye with Garlic Fries—a dish that can be made in under an hour.

The Meal Kit Trend: Here to Stay?

While pre-packaged meals are currently seeing an uptick in sales, it’s hard to predict whether the trend will continue beyond the pandemic. Meal kits certainly give retailers and restaurants a way to expand how they reach consumers, and consumers plan to continue cooking more meals at home beyond the pandemic, according to the Food Industry Association.

To get ahead of the continually changing retail landscape, you’ll want to consider multiple ways to reach consumers with changing preferences, whether adding new meal kits to your meat case, offering curbside pickup, or expanding your product offerings. Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest industry insights and to keep up on consumer trends.

Give Shoppers a Natural Reason to Return

Carrying case-ready Natural Angus beef presents the unique opportunity to reach a number of customers: those that are interested in individually portioned, pre-packaged products; health-minded consumers; consumers looking for Natural products; those who want to try new cuts of beef; and others. Explore all the benefits of carrying Aspen Ridge Net Weight products or contact us for more information, recipes, and what Natural Angus beef can bring to your store.