Are You “Brand Safe”?


As a meat processor, you stake your reputation on the quality and safety of your products. You wouldn’t dream of letting meat leave your plant without following every safety precaution to the letter of the law. Unfortunately, many companies aren’t as careful about maintaining the safety of their brand. Although intangible, your brand reputation requires the same kind of stringent safeguards that protect your meat products.

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AMC 2018 Top 10

At Annual Meat Conference (AMC) 2018, digital dominated. How today’s meat consumers are using digital to plan, purchase and prepare meals was the unifying theme that coursed through nearly every session. As always, the Midan team was on the scene to sift through all the learnings and compile our annual list of top takeaways. See below for our most meaningful nuggets, with the influence of digital leading the pack.

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At Midan, What We Do Is Who We Are

danette-amstein's-feedlot

Danette often returns to her roots on her family’s cattle farm in Kansas.

Happy New Year! It’s only the second week of 2018, but some of us (no names mentioned!) might already be wavering on those ambitious resolutions we made to do more of “this” and less of “that” in the coming year.

While the new year offers a chance to start fresh, it’s also an opportunity to re-commit to the causes we hold dear. For those of us in the meat business, this is a pivotal time to rededicate ourselves to an industry we love that is facing intense upheaval. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that 2018 is poised to disrupt the status quo: meat itself is no longer “meat” (“fake meat” is not “fake news”!) and the Amazon fall-out is far from over. (Read my headlines blog to get my take on the trends to watch.)

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Top Meat Industry Headlines of 2017

Oh 2017—what a news-filled, exciting year you have been!

Here at Midan we work hard to stay on top of news and trends in the meat industry. As this year wraps up, I wanted to reflect with you on some of 2017’s prominent trends that we believe will impact 2018.

  1. The Evolution of Retail: It has been a big year for retailers — no one can deny that. This year, retailers have moved at a fast-pace to keep up with consumer trends and the demand for convenience. Retail consolidation is a trend that started some time ago and continues to gain momentum. Major retailers like Kroger have purchased smaller specialty grocers—and we can’t forget the $13.7 billion check Amazon wrote to add Whole Foods to its portfolio. These changes in strategic posturing require retailers to pause and give thought to how they will continue to differentiate themselves. Many are focusing on the areas of consumer convenience: online ordering, curbside delivery and in-home delivery, as well as creating their own meal solutions.

    Outlook for 2018: Expect more posturing, more niche playing and more convenience for consumers.

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Midan’s Reaction to Chain Reaction: Quick Facts on Antibiotic Use in Livestock

Mainstream media outlets swallowed up the subjective content of the recently published Chain Reaction III study, evoking fear and panic among consumers. The report wants consumers and investors to pressure the top 25 fast food and fast casual restaurants to move to meat offerings from livestock raised without the use of antibiotics. It cites consumption of meat from animals that may have been given antibiotics as a leading cause of antibiotic resistance. The report also calls for more government action and pressure from investors to remove such animals from their supply specifications.

At Midan Marketing, we strive to examine the news with both the meat industry and consumer in mind—here’s how you can be a cattle-lyst for the conversation.

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5 Ways to Dig into Digital Marketing

Remember the days (and sounds) of dial-up internet – kerrhh beep beep wurrh

What started as a way to simply store and share information, the internet’s explosive growth has paved the way for Digital Marketing, a full discipline and true necessity for companies. It’s big, it’s hairy and comes with widgets and plugins and data – oh my! But whether your goal is to build your brand or increase sales, marketing on the internet is critical to growing your business in today’s world.

So what does all of this mean for the meat industry – an industry rooted in cattle-calling and horseback, not Snapchat and Uber.

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Just Another Day at the Office…

Kevin communing with Red Angus
cattle at Kniebel Farm.

If you know anything about Midan, you know it’s not just an empty slogan when we say that we live, breathe and dream about meat.

Our recent annual Team Meeting bears this out in spades. While some companies jet off to Vegas or escape to Disney World to get away from the office, Midan takes a completely different approach: we head to America’s heartland. When the team first heard we were going to Manhattan for this year’s retreat, we were kind of stunned. Then we realized it was Manhattan, Kansas. Ah, that’s more like it.

While the annual meeting is a prime chance to bond with teammates, it’s also an important time to reconnect with the land and livestock. For us, continuing education happens out in the field — literally. As an eight-year veteran of Midan, I’ve toured more than a few cattle and hog farms and have learned that it’s not only what you see on the farm, but whom you meet there that reminds us of why we do what we do.

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How to Spot an Aging Idealist

Diana (r) with her sister Patty, the Aging Idealist

This blog is the final in our series detailing each of six distinct meat consumer segments from our recent Meat Consumer Segmentation research.

My sister and I have always been very different. She likes the heat, I like the cold. She likes spicy foods, I like sweet foods. So after learning that I am a Wavering Budgeteer, I was curious to see what category she fell into.

Turns out my sister is an Aging Idealist. They make up 13% of the meat-eating consumer population. While Patty enjoys a good deal as well as the next person, it’s not the only criterion for purchases and can get tossed right out the window if she really wants it. (I will forfeit a much wanted item for cost – her, never!) If she knows the meat is a product of the United States and the brand cares about sustainability, she will purchase it regardless of price.

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Urban Eclectics, Demystified

Jo Ann and Joseph

Jo Ann with her son Joseph, her favorite Urban Eclectic

I have raised an Urban Eclectic. I am not exactly sure how it happened: one day I was doling out Cheerios to an infant in a high chair and the next I was sitting across from a 23-year-old eating kimchi for breakfast.

If you’re not familiar with Midan’s recent Meat Consumer Segmentation research yet, Urban Eclectics are one of six distinct meat consumer groups. Each consumer segment is unique with its own way of thinking about and eating meat. Urban Eclectics tend to be younger, urban, upscale and have families with children. Forty-one percent of them are Millennials (21-34 years old) and slightly more than half are male. You can also define Urban Eclectics by what they care about: novelty, variety, convenience, healthiness and animal welfare.

Based on these characteristics, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my son is likely an Urban Eclectic, although he’s on the younger end of the spectrum and doesn’t have any children. He just finished his first year of law school.

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Everything Old is New Again: Trends from NRA 2017

Maggie with chef Curtis Stone

Sometimes the more you look back, the further ahead you can see. This was certainly the case for the exhibiting meat companies at this year’s National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show. They demonstrated that the U.S. meat industry is staying “Ahead of the Crave” by returning to time-honored traditions that bring out the very best in our products. And the local hotspots in Chicago are completely in sync with this movement, with over-the-top meals that make us remember why we love meat.

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