Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Let them eat steak

March 16, 2009

meatTired of paying high prices for everything from soup to cereal? See your butcher.

While food makers like Kellogg and Campbell Soup have yet to take back price hikes on boxes of cereal and cans of soup spurred by last year’s spike in commodity costs, beef companies have to move their premium, perishable product in a environment where restaurants aren’t buying and consumers are pinching pennies. 

“You are seeing some of the best value in grocery stores for steaks than what you have seen in
an awfully long time,” Gregg Doud, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s chief economist said at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago.

“You are seeing a lot of features for rib-eyes and T-bones at below $5 a pound. That is some of the best featuring we have seen in many many years,” Doud said.

In April 2008, the retail price for boneless rib-eye steaks averaged $9.49 per pound and T-bones averaged $6.88 a pound, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



When a local store had Sirloin tip Roasts on sale for $2.50/Lb I got some and had them ground (easily less than 5% fat). It’s a good time to have a large freezer ! Just be sure to freeze meat promptly if not planning immediate use (and check freshness date carefully, some sales are on ‘older’ product). When I buy an entire Ribeye roast (generally around 20 Lb.) I can get Prime for $5.50 – cut into steaks or cook it very rare and freeze portions. Now – if only Ethanol subsidies weren’t pushing corn prices so high …

Posted by Tommer | Report as abusive

The only bad part of this is the farmers raising the beef are selling the cattle for less than a dollar a pound close to what it costs them to raise quality beef.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Butcher? What is a butcher? I remember my grandmother talking about them, but I don’t remember what they are. Seriously, there isn’t a butcher within 40 miles of my house. So, burn 4 gallons of fuel to save a buck on a steak?

Posted by David | Report as abusive

how come beef is going low in prices which is good
but how come ?

Posted by james | Report as abusive

Go to your local butcher shop, if you have one nearby, rather than the supermarket meat department. I was even able to get 10 lbs. of hog fat at the one here, most of which I’ve rendered into lard(ooh, the french fries are awesome!). They’ll also cut steaks to the thickness you want, RIGHT NOW AS YOU WAIT!, instead of you having to take whatever’s been packaged. Also, the meat is locally raised, which is a plus.

Posted by hereward | Report as abusive

Sweet!!! I can finally grill the good stuff :)

Posted by Tejas | Report as abusive

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