Fresh Business Meat & Seafood
ith or without? There are many
questions consumers ask themselves at the meat case, and
often, it’s whether they want
their protein with the bone left in or taken
And the reasons? Well, there are several.
Those advocating for the bone left in claim
Bone of Contention
Raging debate over meat cuts o;ers a great opportunity
for retailers to provide education. By Amanda Baltazar
the meat tastes better and has more moisture, tenderness and nutrients. Customers
requesting boneless cuts generally have less
experience in the kitchen and are seeking
convenience; they don’t want the hassle of
dealing with a bone.
Bone-in meat also tends to be cheaper—
usually about ;; cents to ;; per pound. “Con-
The bone-in versus
boneless debate is the
—Anne-Marie Roerink, 210 Analytics
sumers may feel they’re getting more value
with bone-in due to the lower price,” says Kari
Underly, principal and owner of Range Inc.
and Range Meat Academy in Chicago, which
help customers in the meat business.
“The bone-in versus boneless debate is the
ultimate consideration for carnivores,” says
Anne-Marie Roerink, principal with ;;; Analytics, San Antonio.
According to market research ;irm IRI,
Chicago, boneless cuts are roughly ;;; of all
meat sold ;in terms of cuts that can be boneless or bone-in;, and for chicken, that number jumps to ;;;. Boneless chicken breasts
have added ;; billion in sales since ;;;;, says
Jonna Parker, principal for IRI Fresh.
Conversely, sales of bone-in beef cuts are
increasing. Statistics from Centennial, Colo.-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
;NCBA; show higher-end cuts are growing in
popularity. In ;;;;, sales of bone-in ribeye
roast were up ;.;; from ;;;;, sales of T-bone
steaks jumped ;;.;; and sales of strip steaks
increased ;.;;. However, the insights
also showed that overall, boneless steaks
accounted for ;;; of all steak sales last year,
a ;; drop from ;;;; but ;; less than in ;;;;.
A lot of this is due to consumers’ inexperience in the kitchen. According to the ower
of Meat report from Arlington, Va.-based
Food Marketing Institute ;FMI;, only ;;; of
Americans consider themselves knowledgeable about meat and ;;; of millennials say
they barely know what to do with it.
“There are consumers who are aren’t very
knowledgeable about meat, and all of a suddenly you throw a bone into there,” Parker
says. “Plus, who wants to pay for a bone? Many
consumers don’t understand the importance