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CAB: Consumers buy beef differently today than generations past

Written by Saige

Online shopping has exploded, and many consumers even do their grocery shopping online. 

“We hear a lot of buzz today around Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh,” says Melissa Brewer, Certified Angus Beef (CAB) communications director. “Some meal kits like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and others are delivering foods right to their homes.”

Grocery delivery

“This is really a landscape that is continuing to change and evolve,” Brewer continues. “Right now, we are continuing to look at what’s happening in that landscape and where fresh meat fits within that portfolio.” 

However, Brewer notes consumers aren’t ready to see beef delivered to their doorstep. A recent Gallup survey showed 84 percent of consumers haven’t delved into purchasing groceries online.

“When we think about it, while we hear a lot of buzz, the reality is, consumers are still not willing to go online for their groceries,” she says. 

Further, consumers aren’t willing to shop for fresh meat or produce online. 

Brewer explains, “They still want to be able to go to the store and to be able to touch, feel and see the freshness of that product.” 

“It’s an interesting landscape from the standpoint that consumers are absolutely interested in and ever-more connected to their mobile devices,” she says, noting there is uncertainty in how that will play out in the meat case.

Digital connection

While consumers have expressed disinterest in purchasing fresh produce and meat online, they still utilize digital services to improve their shopping experience. 

“We see a lot of our retail partners who are looking at how they continue to provide convenience to shoppers,” Brewer comments. “We see a lot of retails using ‘Click, Load and Go’ options so customers can drive by the curb and pick up groceries on their way home.”

Other retailers deliver products to shoppers, and the majority of retailers are looking for ways to meet the needs of Americans, who are increasingly busy. 

Brewer explains the shifting dynamic requires consumers to develop trust in brands, which allows them to rely on a familiar source to select products online. 

“We have several different ways we’re trying to engage consumers,” Brewer explains. “Going more directly to consumers with resources that allow them to have confidence in the kitchen is important.”

For example, apps like “Roast Perfect” provide tools to help consumers select the appropriate roast after considering factors like how much beef a consumer wants to purchase or how many people they plan to serve.

Supporting consumers

“Honestly, we’re just giving consumers confidence,” Brewer says. 

She continues, “We also want to make sure we provide products that allow for convenience.” 

Consumers today are experiencing a “time crunch” that makes quick and easy solutions essential. While they love a great steak in the center of their dinner plate, CAB is also looking for ways to allow consumers the option to experiment in their cuisine.

“The digital landscape allows us some pretty exciting things are we look at how we can engage consumers with great resources and give them confidence with meat in their kitchen,” Brewer concludes.

Brewer provided an update on consumer purchasing trends in the digital space on a recent edition of Angus VNR. Visit cabpartners.com or angus.org for more information. 

Saige Albert, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, compiled this article from the report. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..