Laura’s Lean Beef introduces new grass-fed products
Recent Consumer Survey
A recent consumer survey, commissioned by Certified Angus Beef (CAB), found that demand for high quality beef has risen in spite of a recessionary economy. The survey was conducted by Oklahoma State University and examined consumer purchases of USDA Choice and USDA Prime beef at the retail grocery and foodservice levels. The survey indicated that consumers are returning to pre-recession levels of spending on meat purchases.
Since 1995, the beef industry as a whole has had a 12 percent increase in the number of carcasses grading USDA Choice and Prime. This has been in response to the increased consumer desire for more highly marbled beef. Within the CAB program, the sales of upper two thirds USDA Choice beef have more than doubled since 2003, far outpacing same type sales in commodity USDA Choice beef.
Another growth area within the beef sector over the past ten years has been the “Better Burger” sector. There are a number of relatively new Better Burger concept restaurant chains that have seen unprecedented growth during the past decade. This includes concept restaurants that are serving 100% Grass Fed beef burgers.
The survey also revealed that consumers are spending more on their total grocery purchases, including meat. A November 2014 survey showed that consumers are willing to pay more for ground beef as well. The research does beg the question, “at what price will consumers reduce their beef purchases?”
The results of this consumer study also mirror what we are seeing within the grass fed sector. Grass fed beef sales have continued to grow in spite of prior recession with double digit growth averaging 25-30% for the past ten years in a row. Grass fed beef now makes up more than 5% of all beef sales in the U.S. and has attracted the attention of members of the Big 4 packers. In addition, we are seeing stronger consumer demand for high quality grass fed beef, with more desire expressed for grass fed beef that grades USDA Choice and up.