Beef Value Cuts â€“ such as the Flat Iron Steak â€“ have found great success with the restaurant industry in recent years, and are now gaining momentum in the retail meat case. These cuts are the result of muscle profiling research funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, producing steak from tender cuts of beef that were historically made into ground beef.
Kroger, one of the nationâ€™s largest supermarket chains, debuted the Flat Iron Steak in 116 Houston-area stores beginning in late July, producing a terrific response from customers. The Flat Iron was promoted in Kroger stores through numerous grilling demonstrations, as well as radio, billboard and point-of-sale advertising. The national Beef Checkoff Program, Texas Beef Council and Tyson Foods partnered with Kroger for this promotional effort.
The joint promotion was initiated on behalf of the Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). The NCBA serves as one of the Beef Boardâ€™s contractors for checkoff-funded programs.
"The Texas Beef Council saw this as a great opportunity to work with our partners at Kroger, Tyson and the national Beef Checkoff Program to focus a program on one cut â€“ the Flat Iron Steak â€“ and launch that product in Houston-area stores," says Russell Woodward, senior manager for product marketing for the Texas Beef Council. "The Flat Iron is a delicious and economical beef cut that simply needs greater exposure in the retail meat case. This promotion - especially the in-store demos that actually get samples into the consumerâ€™s mouths - has been highly successful."
Woodward notes that Houston-area stores holding in-store demos sold an average of 40 to 60 units per day of the Flat Iron Steak, with some stores selling more than 100.
"Thatâ€™s a phenomenal impact on sales," Woodward says. "So weâ€™re very excited about the results that weâ€™ve seen."
"The Flat Iron was a big hit with our Houston customers," says David Brislin, Kroger corporate vice president of perishables merchandising and procurement. "The partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program and the state beef councils has provided a great opportunity for Kroger to keep the momentum growing and expand this promotion into additional markets."
Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Board Chairman Al Svajgr, a cattleman from Cozad, Neb., added that retail success for the Flat Iron Steak comes as great news for beef producers.
"Cattle-Fax estimates that Beef Value Cuts such as the Flat Iron have added $60 to $70 per head for cattle producers, as we better utilize these muscles and enhance the value of each animal," Svajgr says. "The muscle profiling research that developed these cuts, as well as their promotion in the retail and food sectors, are just more examples of how checkoff dollars can generate a positive return for cattle producers."