Raise the steaks by exploiting the potential of thin cuts

20 July 2015

Report shows retailers how to unlock the potential of the thin cut beef steak sector

  • Promote thin cut steaks with clear merchandising and positioning
  • Inspire consumers with a variety of meal solutions
  • Consistency will deliver confidence and repeat purchase

These are the key recommendations outlined in the latest Cutting Edge report from AHDB Beef & Lamb, which highlights the potential of thin cut steaks and aims to drive incremental sales in the beef category.

Raise the steaks by exploiting the potential of thin cuts
The report outlines the findings of in-depth consumer research and product analysis undertaken by AHDB Beef & Lamb.

The detailed consumer research cites poor merchandising, inconsistent positioning in-store, lack of variety, confusing use of descriptive names and poor eating experience as barriers to purchase of thin cut steaks. AHDB Beef & Lamb’s analysis of the range of products currently available to shoppers showed a wide variation in product quality and consistency.

The research points to an opportunity to create a distinct positioning for thin cut steaks that clearly differentiates them from traditional steak ranges.

Mike Whittemore, head of trade marketing for AHDB Beef & Lamb, said: "The clear message from the research is that thin cut beef steaks can carve out a distinct and appealing consumer proposition as an everyday, versatile, value for money meal solution that is not only quick and simple to cook but also a pleasure to eat.

"Thin cut steaks have long been the forgotten protein alternative but we are confident that our research findings and resulting report will act as the catalyst to drive positive change in the multiple retail sector.

"These positive changes can be achieved with the support of effective merchandising, establishing a clear in-store location and by providing a consistent product time after time.”

Mike says the key to product consistency lies in good butchery. "Attention to specification is crucial: thin cut steaks need to be fully denuded, with all fat and gristle removed, and cut to a thickness of no more than 5mm.”

The research shows that consumers are very clear about the appeal of thin cut steaks, summing up their thoughts in three words: tasty, easy, quick. Mike added: "They appreciated the benefits of speed, simplicity and value for money. This proves that the appetite for this type of product is there and that multiple retailers can benefit by maximising its potential.”

The research also highlights the importance of a meaningful name for the product. Thin Cut Beef Steak ticked all the boxes with consumers surveyed, providing assurances on quality, convenience and the health benefits.

The AHDB Beef & Lamb product development team has developed a new range of thin cut steaks that meets consumer needs for products that are great value, quick to cook, lean, convenient, and versatile. The products that performed best in consumer research were: Tender Top Steaks – Thin Cut, Tri-Tip Steaks – Thin Cut and Escallops (Thick Flank) – Thin Cut. Step-by-step cutting specifications for these and the rest of the thin cut steaks range are available to view here.

AHDB Beef & Lamb’s new range of thin cut steaks is being promoted under the Quality Standard Mark (QSM). The QSM Scheme for beef and lamb provides one of the highest levels of independently inspected assurance for meat in the United Kingdom. The standards contain combined guarantees of food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and enhanced eating quality.

To read the full report, click here.

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