Smaller-than-usual cuts are growing in popularity with small families, singles, shoppers on a budget and calorie-watching consumers looking for easy ways to control portion sizes.
The small meat cuts trend has been bolstered by a new program of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association that focuses on innovative cutting techniques and marketing strategies, with the goal of increasing retail grocery store sales. Teaching butchers new methods of processing beef to create small filets and roasts is a key element of the program.
“Larger carcass sizes, an abundance of middle meat cuts and consumers’ increasing interest in portion control prompted us to research and identify ways we could help retailers capitalize on these trends,” said Jim Henger, senior executive director of channel marketing for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program.
Ronnie Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau and himself a rancher in East Feliciana Parish, said the trend not only reflects a dietary trend, but one occurring in the cattle industry as well.
“Prices for beef have climbed higher over the last few years and will continue to climb this year,” Anderson said. “The higher prices haven’t slowed down demand much and we have fewer cattle these days than two years ago. Restaurants and grocery stores are having a harder time finding suppliers no matter what the price as well.”
Top Sirloin Filet Boneless, Ribeye Filet Boneless, Ribeye Cap Steak Boneless, Top Loin Filet Boneless, Top Sirloin Cap Steak Boneless, Top Loin Petite Roast Boneless, Ribeye Petite Roast Boneless and Top Sirloin Petite Roast Boneless are new, smaller beef cuts consumers may see in the meat case under the “Simply Beef” brand.
Most of the cuts meet federal nutrition guidelines for lean beef, with little fat and waste and fans have described the new steak cuts as lean and more flavorful than Filet Mignon, with the added benefit of being less expensive per package.
The small cuts trend could benefit producers by significantly boosting retail beef sales overall, because consumers who previously avoided buying large cuts of meat are now making purchases, according to Henger. An earlier NCBA program for retailers, which introduced new chuck cuts such as the Flat Iron Steak and the Denver cut to the marketplace, increased the value of each head of beef sold by $50 to $75.
BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com has more information including beef recipes and preparation tips.