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.

While NAE meat continues to grow, it is still a niche in meat production. There is no way the top 25 chains, who are being pressured to move to NAE, can do so and still offer meat on their menus.

So what can you expect from this cattle-lyst? An understanding that your meat is 100% safe.

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.

It all goes back to the consumer. The same person who uses Facebook as a diary and Twitter to read the news is also a meat eater, searching for the perfect roast recipe and the best place to buy Angus beef. Digital Marketing allows companies to reach their target audience exactly where they are along the buyer’s journey with digital touchpoints that help accelerate the process and encourage repeat purchases. With 51 percent of grocery sales being digitally influenced, there’s no better time than now to jump in the saddle and start controlling your own digital horsepower! Here are five ways to dig into digital:

1. Personalize. When it comes to developing your brand message in the digital space, it’s all about getting personal. Know who you’re speaking to and how to speak their language so you can cater your message to meet their specific needs, wants and desires. By using the targeting tools available in each platform (ex: targeting by geographic location in Facebook), you will be able to deliver relevant content to your intended audience; therefore, reaching the right person and getting the most bang for your buck!

2. Connect. Unlike many traditional advertising efforts, Digital Marketing creates an always-open, two-way line of communication with the consumer – but you’ve got to use it! Today’s meat consumers are eager to connect with brands. Let them see exactly who you are by sharing your brand story: what you do, why you do it and what you stand for. In doing so, you’ll be able to create an engaged online community that’s hungry for more.

3. Inform. It’s the era of Google and everyone’s a researcher. With experts, nutritionists and encyclopedias at their fingertips, it’s easier than ever for consumers to learn about the food on their plates – and they are eager students! But it’s not just what you say, it’s also what other people say about you and your product. Online reviews play a large part in the decision-making process. Think about it: if one product has 4.5 stars and another has 5, which would you buy? Let those stars work for you!

4. Assist. With the influx of meal kit and grocery delivery services, convenience shopping is having a major moment in our fast-paced society. Create a more pleasant shopping experience for your consumer by exploring ways to make things easier using digital avenues. For example, you can catch them with a Google ad while they are searching for a nearby store and point them directly to the meat case. Cha-ching!

5. Optimize. It’s in your hand, in your pocket, by your computer and beside your pillow. Mobile is no longer just a phone – it’s used for recipe searching, coupon clipping, list making and really just about anything…including phone calls! By understanding how your offering aligns with mobile use, you can create a more impactful, user-friendly experience that can turn swipes to spends.

At the intersection of your business goals and your target audience, you will find the right platform to strategically share your message, meet objectives and drive meat sales.  Don’t go it alone – let’s work together in mapping out your digital journey. Contact us today!

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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Five Opportunities to Sell More Fresh Meat

sell-more-fresh-meatAt Midan, our Market Research Team is always scoping out the consumer trends that are having the biggest impact on the meat industry. A key part of our job is to help our clients understand the implications those trends can have on their business. By assigning meaning to facts and figures, we can help turn meat trends into opportunities.

So what opportunities should be on your radar? I’ve outlined five that you might find helpful as you jump into the new year:

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Topics that Shaped 2016

At Midan, it is our job to pay attention to what is happening in the meat industry and beyond. Each week we comb the headlines, not only to keep up-to-date, but to identify patterns that could become trends that impact our industry. As we look back at the past year, a few prominent themes emerge that are likely to continue to require our attention in 2017.

Millennials: The challenge is different with this generation – we simply can’t lump them into a nice, neat category. After all, these “kids” have redefined individualism! One thing is certain: they are a large population force to be reckoned with and their impact has led to shifts in how businesses market to them. Millennials grew social media, heightened consumer consciousness about issues like sustainability and led the charge for clean labels, all while demanding bold flavors and convenient meal options. Complicated? Yes! Worth the effort? You bet!

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Fat is Flavor!

maggie-o'quinnAs a southerner raised in Georgia and now a proud nine-year resident of Alabama, I have enjoyed a lifelong love affair with saturated fat. I live for pork BBQ from local hole-in-the-wall restaurants with dirt floors (my favorite is Fresh Air BBQ in Jackson, GA), CAB® fat-on tri-tips on the grill and my husband’s buttermilk biscuits where lard is the not-so-secret ingredient. And no respectable southerner serves their greens without some saturated fat to make our dishes sing:  We are unapologetic about adding bacon to our kale and ham hocks to our collards.

I was born in 1975 at the time the “war on fat” was raging in our country. But I never understood why saturated fat was considered the evil enemy until I read Nina Teicholz’ book, “The Big Fat Surprise.” Her book is a fascinating dive into the studies that propelled the low-fat diet craze into our modern day lexicon.

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Millennials, Unfiltered

My name is Gibson and I’m a Millennial. You’ve seen my name attached to several blogs written from the Millennial perspective. Loyal blog readers have gone grocery shopping with me, grilled ribeyes with me and even sat in a classroom of carcasses with me. I’m a member of the elusive generation that everyone is talking about. The generation old enough to remember the days of dial-up internet, but too young to know a time without Justin Timberlake. The generation that knows Google as a verb and the ‘Gram as something other than a S’mores ingredient. (That’s short for Instagram, for you non-Millennials.) And as the generation of 75 million strong that is approaching its prime spending years and taking its money to the meat counter, it may be time to get to know us.

To better understand generational shopping patterns, Midan conducted a study comparing Millennials and Boomers. These two influential consumer groups were asked about meat consumption, preferences and attitudes toward meat and health, and the results are pretty spot on, according to this Millennial. While some of the findings made me feel like there must have been a hidden camera in my kitchen, others were not as applicable to my eating or shopping habits; however, I can easily see how they would apply to my fellow Millennials.

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Millennials, Boomers and Meat: A Closer Look

We’ve all heard so much about Millennials, you might think you already know everything there is to know about them.  But if you’re still trying to get inside the head of this enigmatic species, we’ve got some intel that can help you engage this elusive target and sell more fresh meat.

millennials at the meat case

There’s good reason the media has been advising you to pay attention to this consumer segment — Millennials number 75 million strong and know how to make themselves heard.

At Midan, it was only natural that we wanted to learn more about their meat eating habits.  But we also wanted to understand them in context:  how do they purchase meat compared to other consumers?   We decided to study Millennials alongside that other influential generation impacting the meat case in a big way: Baby Boomers.  Millennials have been getting all the attention lately, but it’s the Boomers that have all the money – don’t underestimate their buying power!

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Millennial, Meet Carcass

The last time I was in a classroom, I was analyzing the significance of windows in Wuthering Heights. Three weeks ago, however, I found myself seated in a meat science and technology building with a beef carcass being escorted into the room by an apron-clad man with knives in his tool belt and a hook in his hand. My front row seat was physically and aesthetically miles away from my social media hub back in NC, but there I was at Center of the Plate Training® – trading ‘likes’ for longissimus and Instagram for infraspinatus.

Center of the Plate is a three-day crash course in meat, starting with the leg of a cow and ending at the gill of a snapper. This course is designed to educate members of the meat industry on all center-of-the-plate proteins: beef, veal, lamb and pork, as well as poultry, processed meats and seafood. Attendees were given a copy of The Meat Buyer’s Guide and watched as it came to life, with the Guide acting as our roadmap, Davey Griffin as the driver and Steve Olson as the rambunctious tour guide leading us through this full-immersion experience of converting carcasses into cuts.

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Meat Today’s Top 4 Consumers

RMC Blog Image

We’ve all had this internal debate: do I really need to read this? Will it be helpful or just a waste of time? What am I going to learn that will be valuable?

If you’re in the meat business, knowing as much as you can about your customers can have a big payoff. In order to successfully reach consumers, you’ve got to have an understanding of who they are, right?

The challenge, of course, is that consumers keep changing.

These days, consumers of multiple generations and ethnicities are the new norm, and this mix is altering the way meat is being prepared and consumed. Because of this, the “one size fits all” approach to meat marketing just doesn’t work anymore. So, you’ll need to adjust your efforts accordingly.

There are four primary consumer groups who are making the biggest impact on meat consumption trends: Millennials, Boomers, Hispanics and Asian-Americans.

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