4 Ways to Get High-Priced Meat in the Cart

A recent headline stated, “At a time when prices are usually low, meat prices are rising faster than any other food group.” Not what you want to hear before grilling season, right?

I cringe at the thought of what those high prices will mean for my clients. But as a consumer, I just shift things around to keep meat on the dinner table.

Based on qualitative research I have conducted over the past few years, it seems that while consumers are cognizant of rising prices, they adjust to accommodate the higher prices because they love meat and can’t walk away completely. Just a few years ago the average price per pound for a boneless sirloin steak was $5.83 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Consumer Price Index). According to Oklahoma State University’s April Food Demand Survey, people say they are willing to pay up to $6.87 per pound for steaks, a 4.25% increase since March.

The 2014 Power of Meat study showed that while price is the number one consideration in the meat and poultry purchasing decision process, other factors are tiptoeing closer.  The importance of nutritional content, preparation knowledge and preparation time has increased.

For many consumers, saving time and effort is just as important as price.  I am one of those shoppers who is willing to pay more for easy meal solutions.  Here are four ideas that add the kind of value that helps consumers like me keep beef and pork in my shopping cart. (Kudos to Chicago-area grocery stores for starting to offer a lot of these, which has led to a drastic decline in my drive-thru runs!)

1. Remind me of all the delicious prepared foods that are now available at grocery stores. I feel better when dinner comes from the grocery store instead of a take-out or drive-thru bag. Unfortunately, grocery stores are not top of mind for last-minute dinner options. Only 13% of shoppers say they “very often” visit the grocery store to purchase ready-to-eat or heat-and-eat items rather than buying from a fast-food place or restaurant. (Power of Meat, 2014)

2. Have it somewhat ready for me. Don’t make me think after a long day at work! I am so happy to see more meat departments doing more with marinades and fresh grinds and offering innovative value-added products like shish kebabs. These types of products are particularly appealing to young adults and men. Nearly a fifth of men (19%) that buy beef tend to buy products that have been partially prepared, such as hamburger patties or kabobs, while 18-24 year olds are twice as likely (32%) as the average consumer to buy beef and pork products that have been partially prepared. (Mintel 2013 Red Meat Report)

3. Give me another option beyond rotisserie chickens. I know they are easy to prepare in store and they hold really well, but what about a pork loin roast or a beef pot roast? Take advantage of ovenable packaging to offer fresh options that make dinner more exciting.

4. Can I place an order for pick up? How great would it be if I call you at 2:00 pm to order a nice fully-cooked beef or pork roast and pick it up at 6:00 pm while I’m grabbing milk and eggs? Jump on the “grocerant trend” and be more restaurant-like. This kind of service would really help me get the kind of healthy meal on the table I feel good about serving my family.

What are your ideas for adding value to meat department purchases?

As Midan’s Account Planner as well as the mother of two small children, Julie Murphy has a unique perspective on shopping at the meat case.


The Importance of Timelines and Due Dates

By Molly Wethington

I worked on a daily schedule before coming to Midan.  I had a daily routine and planned out a week in advance at most.  I think very differently now.  Being in a marketing agency is very fast-paced. There are many different projects going on all the time.  This is why I have learned that project management, timelines and due dates are vital in this industry.

My job requires me to do many different steps of many different projects. These projects can be on a loose time line. Many times I am told no rush, just whenever I get the time. This creates a problem for me.  In order to prioritize and do it correctly, I need to have due dates for things.  I’ve gotten in the habit of always asking for a due date and even though it may be an arbitrary date, it will ensure that the task does not continue to get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

Project planning has been a big learning curve for me, but is crucial to a successful, complete project. I want to get my timeline laid out as soon as possible when I have a project coming.  This way there will be no rush and confusion when I start working on the project. It is also important for me to remember that I am not usually the only one working on a project.  My steps are contingent on other steps and other team members’ steps are contingent on mine.  Sometimes our timelines are tight. It is important to look ahead and know what tasks are coming that I am responsible for. That way I get them completed in a timely fashion.  Ultimately, the client’s expectations are to have a successful project completed on time.  In the end, we are trying to meet and exceed those expectations and meeting timelines is a key part in doing so.

Making Ideas Happen

By Lauren Zuber

Amy Eggelston, one of the graphic designers here at Midan  and I attended 99U, a conference focused on Making Ideas Happen, last spring in NYC. The conference focused on how to think in order to make your ideas happen. It was two days packed with speakers telling amazing stories about how they brought their crazy, world-changing ideas to fruition.

During the two days, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, designers and artists shared their personal stories about how their ideas evolved. Through their stories, a thought pattern emerged that can be applied to any problem big or small; work related or personal, world changing or the simple day-to-day. This thought pattern can be summarized by the three points below:

1.       Having a good understanding of yourself and others is essential

  • Being aware and working towards overall personal health including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual is fundamental
  • Being able to identify and understand your own and others emotions, as well as personality types
  • Behavior affects your thoughts and feelings
  • Consider your perspective as well as the perspective of others when you approach a problem.
  • Fight apathy – allow healthy conflict
  • Specialize – Get really good at something you are interested in – passion will follow and you will enjoy your work more.

 2.       Create a game plan

  • Visualize the steps you need to take to reach success
  • Have big goals and take baby steps towards them
  • Instead of just talking about an idea, create a story board
  • Allow yourself to be a guinea pig and test
  • Allow room to fail within your structure
  • Meetings should result in actionable tasks or no meeting should take place
  • Anticipate rather than react

3.       Involve others

  • If you don’t know the answer to a problem, go spend time with people and the answer may reveal itself
  • Tell everyone about your idea and seek feedback early
  • Find mentors
  • You don’t have to be an expert on the topic you are working on – you can learn
  • Know your customer, know your client so you are able to meet their needs and expectations

One of my favorite takeaways from the conference was : Visualize the steps you need to take to reach success. This point was shared during a session that discussed creating a story board with pictures.  I loved it because you get to draw fun pictures! Listen to it here:   http://99u.com/videos/19396/joe-gebbia-executing-your-idea-starts-with-a-small-single-step

I love this idea because it narrows your focus and makes you think through each step that needs to be taken, in order to make your idea happen.

Here are a few of my ideas that have become reality over the past six months:



My ideas over the past six months have not been as revolutionary as the people speaking at the conference, but they have made a difference in my life. It has also given me a fun way to create a realistic focused plan for new ideas. I have enjoyed seeing my ideas become reality! Now I am off to create more plans on how to bring all these crazy ideas in my head to life!


Lauren Zuber is a Sr. Graphic Designer at Midan Marketing.  

Chipotle’s platform against modern agriculture

As a company made up of individuals passionate about food and agriculture, we at Midan Marketing, do not support Chipotle’s platform against modern food production. Their recently launched ad campaign is alarmingly hypocritical. We do not see cows, pigs, and chickens being raised at every one of Chipotle’s more than 1,400 locations, as suggested in the video. According to their Facebook page, Chipotle claims that their video is set in a “fictitious future world” – and it is just that. Fiction.  The video is a gross misrepresentation of modern food production, and we feel it is completely unethical to start a conversation with consumers about modern agriculture with these kinds of lies and fabrications.

Visualizing Information

I have always been a visual thinker, so it should come as no surprise that I love infographics. “What is an infographic?” you might ask. Here’s my take on it:

Infographic: a representation of data or information that has been simplified into visual bullet-points, if you will. They consist of images and type that tell a graphical story.

The word Infographic is just one name for this kind of imagery; they are also presented under the following terms: visual mapping, data visualization, visual metaphors and information design. [Read more…]

The Value of a Personal Mission Statement

Most companies today know the value of a company mission statement. It clarifies what the company is all about. It states more than a mission, it identifies the core purpose of a company. At Midan Marketing, we review a business book every few months. During one of these reviews, we covered The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book has been around since the 1980’s and is still as relevant today as it was when it was written. [Read more…]