Friday, November 7, 2008

Beef Industry Needs To Focus On Consumer

This headline's from today's What a great idea!

Let's see if the recommendations, from marketing specialist, Tad Schroeder, make sense. He starts with 5 errors the industry makes (my comments in italics):
  • Defensiveness about criticism. "All that does is feed the fire." A tad vague, no comment.

  • Too much secretiveness. "We need to be open and honest about what we're doing." Could not agree more. Tell us exactly what's on our plate and how it got there. See this for a start.

  • Camouflaging through labeling gimmicks. For example, Schroeder said, "The word 'natural' in the meat case means almost nothing." Hallelujah!

  • Assuming "consumers are stupid." "They're not stupid. They're very savvy, and they have lots of information." And I'm trying to make them smarter.

  • Scare tactics. Eh?

And follows with 5 tips:
  • Give 'em what they want.

  • Show and tell our story.

  • Invest in new technologies that are aimed at consumers.

  • Coordinate and share information within the industry, rather than keeping it secret for what may be a short-term competitive advantage that hurts the industry in the long term.

  • Give 'em your 800 number." Encouraging consumer feedback sends the message, "I'm proud of this. Come talk to me about it."

Hmmmmmmm... These are a little vague, so let me try.

This is what we care about.

  • We care about supporting good farms and workers.

  • We care about protecting our families from bad stuff in the beef.

  • We care about happy cows.

  • We care about keeping our environment clean.

  • We care about great taste and texture.

Bottom line: Tell us exactly what's on our plate, where it's from and how it was raised and aged. Then let us decide if we want to buy from you or the other guy.

Finally, do not snooker us into believing that USDA Prime tastes better than Choice or Select. Admit it, marbling is just one factor. Different breeds raised on different farms on different diets and aged with different techiques will taste different from each other - even if they score the same USDA grade. And this is a good thing, my gosh, imagine tailoring different beef styles to each individual's personal taste buds!

If you have any doubts, please call me, I will send you an artisan steak tasting kit to prove it.


Anonymous said...

Good luck to you on your journey. I agree with your basic premise.

After I ‘retired’ from AT&T after 28 years, I started a specialty food distribution business in 1998, here in NE Florida, and sold it two years ago. I brought in a wide selection of specialty meat provisions and other unique refrigerated and frozen products targeted to the high-end food service market. At one point, with two of my sons, I started to sell a select number of meat products on the web, primarily during the Christmas – New Year holiday season. We did amazingly well in a very short period of time, but I eventually had to stop due to a legal contract issue with my primary supplier, who after providing permission, then decided that they did not want their product distributed that way.

Despite the current economic times, you should be able build your brand. If you have a better, and highly differentiated product, you will be successful. (Oh, one more thing is needed……deep pockets.)

Thanks for your note, and again good luck on your journey. If I can help get your message out, be glad to.

Jim d’Esterhazy,

From: Carrie Oliver []
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 6:53 PM
Subject: [Six Burner] New comment on Ever Been To A Steak Tasting?.

Carrie Oliver has left a new comment on your post "Ever Been To A Steak Tasting?":

Hi, and thanks for the great post! If we can make Oliver Ranch as well known as Perdue, we'll have definitely succeeded in changing the beef (and pork and other meats) for the best.

Good luck with the contest (I hope you left a comment there!) on and feel free to give me a call/email anytime.


muddywaters said...

After stumbling upon your blog through Simmer Till Done, I spent a lot of time browsing. I'm really intrigued with a lot of the ideas you're sharing. My father-in-law is a rancher in SW Nebraska, so we often discuss the beef industry. I respect what you're doing. The beef industry needs more ambassadors like you. There are a lot of good things happening out there, and I'm glad you're spotlighting some of those things.

I'll visit often.

Carrie Oliver said...

Muddywaters, you have made my day, thank you for the really nice note. There are so many good people out there raising our food, it's time to reward them with recognition and fair compensation. Would love to talk with you or your father-in-law anytime. You can find me at carrie[at]oliverranch[dot]com.