‘Steak Bar’ and ‘Chop House’ – the first of five exciting new product development initiatives featuring Quality Standard beef and lamb - were unveiled by the EBLEX trade marketing team at a special event held at the Tower of London recently.
Using the umbrella themes - ‘Cook-In’ for the retail sector and ‘Eat Out’ for the foodservice sector - the five new ranges, which also include ‘Gourmet Burger’, ‘The Carvery’ and ‘Discover Lamb’ will bring new, added value Quality Standard Mark products to market, improving carcase utilisation and enhancing profit potential throughout the supply chain.
‘Steak Bar’, which was first introduced to the retail sector last year, is being relaunched with the addition of new beef and lamb steaks. The range includes traditional steak cuts such as the Rib-Eye which has been highly trimmed, as well as a number of quality, added value alternatives such as the Flat Iron, Bistro Rump and Centre Cut which are new to the market. These modern, affordable steaks are available to both the retail and foodservice markets and supported with a host of marketing collateral to help drive sales.
Speaking at the launch event, Paul Robinson, meat and fish project manager at Morrisons, said: “Since introducing Steak Bar into our ‘Market Street’ in-store butchery department, we have seen an increase in the sale of thicker steak cuts, with customers trading up and purchasing prime steaks as opposed to standard cuts. An uplift in the volume of packs sold across the range as a whole has led to increased turnover – and we’re also seeing repeat purchases from customers who have tried our cooking tips and recipe suggestions and are becoming more confident in their own cooking abilities. It’s a win-win situation.”
Chairman of the National Q Guild of Butchers, Brindon Addy, added: “The Steak Bar range is the biggest single thing to have made a difference to my business. It has created a real point of difference, making my shop stand out from my competitors. The steaks in the range are clearly identified by EBLEX’s branded point-of-sale material which enhances the appeal to both passing trade and existing customers.
“Not only does the range offer more choice and better value for my customers, it has increased my turnover and generated additional profits for my business to the tune of around £12.5k per annum. The cuts are also ideal for the restaurant trade as they offer excellent portion control as well as profit potential.”
Research carried out amongst chefs, catering butchers and consumers, together with scientific tests carried out by an independent food research company has shown that the steaks will work well in the foodservice sector, adding differentiation on menus and bringing additional profit opportunities. The findings are presented in a new book, ‘Excellence in Steak’, which will help caterers determine which cuts will add most value to their menus. For example, the Spatchcock Fillet, Flat Iron and Denver were the highest scoring steaks with consumers based on the ‘overall liking.’
Similarly, the ‘Chop House’ range has been developed with the steak lover in mind. The new range of bone-in beef, lamb and veal steaks, which offer enhanced flavour and succulence, will complement existing barbecue and grill product ranges. After first appearing in the foodservice sector, the cuts, such as T-Bone Steak (beef) and Three Bone Rack (lamb), are now becoming more prominent in retail outlets. Like Steak Bar, the Chop House cuts offer substantial profit opportunities.
EBLEX head of trade marketing, Mike Whittemore, said: “The beauty of our product development initiatives is that they can be completely tailored for each individual business. The Steak Bar and Chop House ranges include a variety of beef, lamb and veal cuts to help retailers and foodservice operators widen their product portfolio and offer customers better value for money and improved eating quality. The cuts are intended to complement existing ranges and enable retailers and caterers to maximise their own profit potential.
“Eating quality was a key factor in determining which cuts were chosen for the ranges and those that made the grade only did so following extensive research carried out amongst industry and more importantly, with consumers.
“Many of the cuts are already popular in overseas markets such as the US or France, and the research has shown that they can also perform well in the UK. Of course, consumers will need to be introduced to the different cuts and learn about their cooking properties and taste, texture and tenderness qualities, but that’s where EBLEX can help. We’re able to provide marketing support through on pack information, point-of-sale, recipe ideas and much more. We’ve even produced a ‘Steak-o-Meter’ to help customers determine which steak might best suit their requirements.”
The products in the Steak Bar and Chop House ranges are ideal for the barbecue and other al fresco eating occasions during the summer months. Other ‘Cook-in/Eat Out’ ranges (The Carvery, Gourmet Burger and Discover Lamb) will be rolled out to industry later in the year.
Mike added: “As well as our product development work this year, we’ll also be reminding industry of the assurances that come with sourcing beef and lamb through our Quality Standard Mark Scheme. With traceability a particularly important issue at the moment, customers will increasingly be looking for assurance and origin indicators on packaging. Our Quality Standard Mark Scheme is independently audited and remains robust, but we are also looking at introducing random DNA testing to beef and lamb produced under our scheme as an additional safeguard.
“Any business which is sourcing Quality Standard Mark beef or lamb and registered to our scheme (which is free of charge) can use the scheme logos on packaging, website or marketing literature to offer customers the reassurance that the meat has been sourced from a totally assured, independently inspected supply chain.”
To find out more about the new concepts or the Quality Standard Mark Scheme, call the EBLEX Hotline: 0845 491 8787 or visit www.eblextrade.co.uk.
Notes to editors:
All cuts from Steak Bar, Chop House and Excellence in Steak are featured in the Cutting Specification Manual (for suppliers) and the Meat Purchasing Guide (for chefs and retailers) with unique ordering codes. The cuts can also be found in the new Meat Purchasing Guide App which enables retailers and caterers to order any of the 450 beef, veal, lamb or mutton cuts featured in the highly acclaimed Meat Purchasing Guide direct from their supplier, from either a tablet or smartphone.
EBLEX is the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England and is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
It exists to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector. Its aims are:
- To help the beef and sheep meat supply chain become more efficient
- To add value to the beef and sheep meat industry.
The EBLEX Trade Marketing team supports businesses throughout the retail and foodservice supply chains for beef and lamb. From abattoirs and processors to wholesalers, independent and multiple retailers and foodservice operators, we work with businesses to improve their operational effectiveness and assist with beef and lamb product development, marketing and promotion. Visit our website. Twitter. Facebook.