Beef consumers are demanding new tender and flavorful meat products that are leaner and more closely trimmed. With the development and advertising of the new cuts such as the Flat Iron, Ranch Cut and Denver Steak, consumers have more options to choose from. However, for these cuts to obtain acceptance in the retail market retailers, retailers need to be able to price them accordingly so they can realize a return on the preparation and marketing.
To establish a retail price, meat department managers can perform a cutting test. The purpose of the cutting test is to provide information about the fabrication of subprimals to assist management decisions based on raw material options, retail pricing, fabrication procedures, trimming strategies, product mix, worker efficiency, pricing procedures and volume effects. Updating of the cutting test data will assist in monitoring product margins and will be valuable in maintaining a profitable operation.
In 1990 the National Livestock and Meat Board commissioned Texas A&M University to develop a computer program to assist retailers in analyzing purchasing and merchandising choices when using boxed beef. This program is known as the Computer Assisted Retail Beef Decision Tool (CARDS). This program has been widely used by the Industry. With the advances in computers and the Internet, it is possible to add additional features that will increase access for an organization and add additional features. A cutting test program that can be accessed, with data entered and saved for future use through a secure website, will benefit an organization that has several facilities at different locations.
By incorporating a cutting test and financial decision tool via the internet and integrating this with the Bovine Myology and Muscle Profiling website, retailers are able to base decisions on both quality characteristics and economic value. Retailers will be able to increase profitability by assigning a price reflective of both quality and value to increase total retail beef sales.