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Beef Loss of Market Share

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cedardell

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Recently my wife and I have had a chance to travel from the farm a bit. After having eaten nothing but home cooking for years I was astounded at way beef is offered in even the most expensive resteurants, All the tantalizing juiciness and flavor is gone because they are required to over cook it. I am one of the greatest beeflovers around, but I'm not going waiste a lot of money on an overcooked overpriced piece of beef that can't be differentiated from the soybean substitute. So I will only eat my own. This brings us to the point of lossing market share. If anybody is to blame it's the industry AMI for downgrading the quality and portion of the product. If they can't keep the quality and flavor in our good beef all the way to the consumer the meat merchandizers need to change the way they are doing business. I have a feeling if they went back to swinging beef and didn't haul it so far we'd be back in the lead for market share. Also need to make it safe for consumers to eat medium to medium rare so they can enjoy the real flavor that is inherent in good beef. Would aslo help if they weren't trying to screw consumer on portion size. I know the mafia motto is "less is more" and we pocket the difference, but $20 dollars for an 8 once piece of meat is $40 dollare a lb. come on now.
 

Econ101

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cedardell said:
Recently my wife and I have had a chance to travel from the farm a bit. After having eaten nothing but home cooking for years I was astounded at way beef is offered in even the most expensive resteurants, All the tantalizing juiciness and flavor is gone because they are required to over cook it. I am one of the greatest beeflovers around, but I'm not going waiste a lot of money on an overcooked overpriced piece of beef that can't be differentiated from the soybean substitute. So I will only eat my own. This brings us to the point of lossing market share. If anybody is to blame it's the industry AMI for downgrading the quality and portion of the product. If they can't keep the quality and flavor in our good beef all the way to the consumer the meat merchandizers need to change the way they are doing business. I have a feeling if they went back to swinging beef and didn't haul it so far we'd be back in the lead for market share. Also need to make it safe for consumers to eat medium to medium rare so they can enjoy the real flavor that is inherent in good beef. Would aslo help if they weren't trying to screw consumer on portion size. I know the mafia motto is "less is more" and we pocket the difference, but $20 dollars for an 8 once piece of meat is $40 dollare a lb. come on now.


I have the same problem. That is why people like PPRM, and Robertmac and rkaiser get the business from people like me. If you play the low cost game of market concentration you lose some of the elements of value in the items being marketed. You showed in your post that my sentiments are more widespread than just my household.

Thanks for the post.
 

mrj

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cedardell said:
Recently my wife and I have had a chance to travel from the farm a bit. After having eaten nothing but home cooking for years I was astounded at way beef is offered in even the most expensive resteurants, All the tantalizing juiciness and flavor is gone because they are required to over cook it. I am one of the greatest beeflovers around, but I'm not going waiste a lot of money on an overcooked overpriced piece of beef that can't be differentiated from the soybean substitute. So I will only eat my own. This brings us to the point of lossing market share. If anybody is to blame it's the industry AMI for downgrading the quality and portion of the product. If they can't keep the quality and flavor in our good beef all the way to the consumer the meat merchandizers need to change the way they are doing business. I have a feeling if they went back to swinging beef and didn't haul it so far we'd be back in the lead for market share. Also need to make it safe for consumers to eat medium to medium rare so they can enjoy the real flavor that is inherent in good beef. Would aslo help if they weren't trying to screw consumer on portion size. I know the mafia motto is "less is more" and we pocket the difference, but $20 dollars for an 8 once piece of meat is $40 dollare a lb. come on now.


cedardell, it would be interesting to know in which part of the country you were eating out.

We seem to be away from home at mealtime fairly often, and rarely have problems with the beef, other than too many of the steaks being tougher than they should be. The flavor is nearly always good, if not great. The worst is the rare occasion when in a small, home town type restaurant that slices the roast beef paper thin and it may even be cut with the grain rather than across it, which just seems to do bad things to roast beef. I don't think we have ever gotten anything that tasted remotely like the expensive soy and veggie burger I ordered once to see how bad the competition was. Read recently that one company producing them went broke doing it, which was comforting.

Were you eating steaks, hamburgers, or both? I know it is hard, but definitely not impossible, to find places that will cook a hamburger medium to rare. Most places that serve decent steaks will almost refuse to cook them more than medium, and really don't want to cook a steak well done. I would never order a well done steak, so that is no problem for me.

It may sound nice to want to go backward in this industry and produce beef slower.....slow down the chain in the plant......hang the beef for at least three weeks, cut it all by hand and not worry about the waste fat....but I can't help wondering if there are enough consumers who can or will pay the real costs of such a system.

I also suspect there is a small amount of beef currently produced in that way, after checking out some ads on ranchers.net where beef was selling for way more than $100.00 per POUND.....and then you have to cook it yourself!!!

Beef would probably pretty cheap around the areas where there is a lot of feeding and the packing plants are located if we decree that it can't be hauled very far, but there would also be a scarcity of it in the most populous areas of the country which are far away from the packing plants.

Did you really go away hungry from the $20.00 MEAL with the eight ounce piece of steak? The cost of the meat may be significant to the meal, but I'm not real sure it is even a fourth of the total cost of buying and preparing that meal, for the restaurant. Most restaurant meals served have far more food than one person needs, and often even more than they want. If one wants to cut costs and still have an excellent steak, try going to a higher scale place and share the meal. Most restaurants will do that will a reasonable cost for the second place setting and more veggies and such.

Last, and maybe most important, did you give constructive criticism of the problem meals you were served?

I have been complaining nicely when something seems wrong and find it is well received. Only this morning I heard a radio ad that really talked down to the farm and ranch people it was aimed at, making the "fellow rancher"doing the talking sound like an ignorant hick. It was for a furniture store having a sale during a Stock Show. My suggestion to try any of many talented young female rodeo performers sharing her excitement at the great western furniture she would like to buy at that store during the sale might catch more interest than the "country bumpkin" style ad they were running. I was thanked profusely for the idea.......we will see what happens. Yesterday, I emailed a complaint to Affiliated Foods Midwest, supplier to small town grocery stores, about their ad in the current flyer featuring a beautiful beef roast which was cut with the grain of the meat instead of across the grain as it should be. I received a phone call this morning and the manager also thanked me and said they would be watching more closely for such mistakes in photo's of beef in their future ads. The conversation around that topic was very friendly and educational for both of us. Good businesses do appreciate reasonable "complaints" from their customers.

MRJ
 

PPRM

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I agree with the method of complaining MRJ discusses here.

I have found a lot of my repeat customers complain that they take thier wives on a date to the Outback Steakhouse and the date is ruined because the beef is not as good as what they cook at home from me......I sell 50 pound packs that are 1/3 roast, /1/3 steak and 1/3 burger......Under $200 for something that fits nicely into thier refrigerator freezer, a lot better deal than what they can get at the grocery store...I Cautiion against a lot of common mistakes like thawing steaks in the microwave, seems to work....


My point is do you see a problem or opportunity?????


PPRM
 

cedardell

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I appreciate all the comments. I think our industry can use a lot of constructived critisizm. So many of the posts here are (including mine) are more like whining complaints at times. There is a real art to differing with an opinion or criticizing something without antaganizing. When we eat out, mostly in the Chicago area I like to ask questions about the food we are served. This antagonizes my wife. But I find it's very interesting to know sometimes how little the waiter knows about what he is setting down in front of you. I understand some of them have to go to school for weeks to learn how to serve properly and promote the meals they are serving. But almost none of them can tell you where your steak comes from or what it will grade. That's because it comes in a box and it's all just the same to them. It used to be that the grade was reguired on the package if the beef was prefabed, but that must not be the case anymore. Then to if a resteurant gets its beef from a secondary wholesaler it's hard to tell where it comes from. However, some of those wholsalers have good reputations so if they say that is the source you know it will be good. I think this is why they don't like to talk about grade anymore. They'd rather tell you the get it from a prestigous source than a source where someone else can claim they have the same product. Oh well enough rambling time to saddle up. Thanks cedardell
 

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