Quantcast Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef

Sponsors







Author Topic: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef  (Read 1833 times)

Offline knabe

  • National Champion Poster
  • **********
  • Posts: 12688
  • Karma 350
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2019, 11:58:12 AM »
a couple of outlets does something similar at farmers markets out here.


interestingly, in Scotland, fresh fish is delivered by truck to neighborhoods the same way milk was delivered in the US until the 80's. our neighbor had fresh delivered milk every other day or so.  would always beg to get a glass as it was whole milk. still pasteurized though at that point.  there is a place or two that still sells unpasteurized milk here and it is great.  lots of obvious worry about disease, though they are inspected waaaaay more than any other dairies.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 12:00:59 PM by knabe »

Offline shortybreeder

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
  • Karma 3
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2019, 06:21:45 AM »
I assume that a lot of people don't have a "chest deep freezer" at home. That makes it unlikely that people would choose to buy a half of beef or whatever.
I sell sample boxes to people who just have a normal fridge/freezer unit, and it seems to go over very well. I include 3 roasts, 6 steaks and 15lb of ground beef in the box. I choose the roasts and steaks to include, so it gives me the flexibility to work around the bigger orders of 1/4 and 1/2. It also gives customers more confidence in buying a 1/4 in the future because I've found several of my customers have had bad experiences buying direct before because they got old holstein cows for really cheap rather than quality beef.

Offline oakview

  • County Champion Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1173
  • Karma 68
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2019, 10:29:35 AM »
I met a gentleman a few years ago from east central Iowa that has developed a fairly good sized successful direct marketing Shorthorn beef program.  He has included organic beef as well.  I have long felt our breed has huge potential in this area.  I called Shorthorn Country and the ASA well over a year ago and gave them information on this person.  They said they were always interested in stories such as this.  I was told they were busy with the upcoming Denver show, but would contact him when it was over.  It has been 14 months and he has not received a call from them.  He would have been a great speaker at the ASA meeting last fall.  My daughter is an instructor at DMACC and she has contacted him to speak to several of their classes, including the ag business and marketing classes.  Perhaps a direct marketing group could be organized by a group of interested parties independent of the ASA. 

Are cattle feeders making hand over fist profits?  Are cow-calf operators raking in the big bucks?  In our area, hay is out of sight expensive, mineral costs have sky rocketed, equipment has greatly increased in price, it's not too hard to spend $60,000+ for a pickup.  Costs for the cattleman are just extremely high.  I was in the local Hy-Vee last weekend.  T-Bones were $20/pound.  That's not a misprint.  New York strips were $7.99 each, for a 6 ounce steak.  Ribeyes were $11.99 each, 12 ounces in weight.  Stew beef was $6.00/pound.  Hy-Vee advertised three grades of beef:  Prime is their top of the line, next is certified Angus, the third level is Choice.  They used to promote light and lean beef, another say of saying Select without coming right out and saying it, but I was so dumbfounded by $20/pound I couldn't look any more.   

Offline Shorthorns4us

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 299
  • Karma 15
    • View Profile
    • Ford Family Shorthorns
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2019, 11:25:44 AM »
This is a great topic!  I have not replied to any posts for a long time-- I am always out here stalking the site, but have not posted in a while. 

In looking for other avenues to generate income on my farming operation, I have tried this model in 2017 and 2018.  It started with an inquiry from an independent general store owner that had the right permits, etc. to sell meat in his store.  It was some distance from me, but I was more than willing to deliver directly to the store all future orders for no extra fees.  I was also charging him wholesale prices on the meat.  Long story short-- I only sold him one order-- there was nothing wrong with the meat, he loved it, customers loved it-- just never got him to COMMIT to a regular order on a regular schedule (which is what he needed in his store).  That has been the biggest hurdle for my wholesale and retail business by the package-- I have had this with restaurants too.
I have also used my local farmers market-- I have some regular customers that are in love with the product-- but the biggest feedback at the market is pricing-- we have a Wal-Mart that sells meat dirt cheap.  The biggest problem is working against (if you want to say it that way) the cheap meat.  The customer is looking at the bottom line.  I have talked to the other vendors at my market and they say the same thing-- everyone comes looking for a "deal"-- they (average joe customer) don't get the concept that the direct from farm is better and does have some premium to it.   
I have also found that the time commitment is very large to try to sell, sell, sell.  I have to balance this with a regular full time job-- it can be done, but I kind of have burned out. 
Also I am not going to hound people to death to buy-- If a restaurant/store is interested-- I will try to work with them for awhile, but I am not going to call, visit, call, visit and bug them to death-- I don't like that sales approach for myself, so I am trying to be respectful to them by backing off a little. 
A lot of my sales are in the moment--  Customer says-- I am here I will buy it, but once I am out of sight-- out of mind.  I do have a couple faithful package customers, but most people aren't going out of their way in my area to contact me on a regular basis. 
Everyone who has bought my shorthorn beef has loved it when I get feedback from them-- so I know the product is good. 
Overall this experience has been fun and a great learning experience, but the per package meat sales have not panned out and I am discontinuing in 2019.  Now on that note-- I am still maintaining my bulk sales-- wholes, halves, etc.-- these customers are pretty loyal once you get them on a regular yearly schedule.  I am going to try to get some of the package customers over to the bulk.  Plus, I can sell without the retail inspections, etc. 
Great post!
EF

Offline Medium Rare

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 303
  • Karma 10
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2019, 12:09:23 PM »
a couple of outlets does something similar at farmers markets out here.


interestingly, in Scotland, fresh fish is delivered by truck to neighborhoods the same way milk was delivered in the US until the 80's. our neighbor had fresh delivered milk every other day or so.  would always beg to get a glass as it was whole milk. still pasteurized though at that point.  there is a place or two that still sells unpasteurized milk here and it is great.  lots of obvious worry about disease, though they are inspected waaaaay more than any other dairies.

I've looked into a couple of these.

There is a weekly milk route not too far from me. Glass returnable bottles, flavored milk, ice creams, maybe even butter, the whole works. It seems to be keeping that producer from going broke in the current dairy industry. They do not want to add another product to their line as they fear a bad experience could risk the current premium on their own products.

There is also a "milk man" route a little farther away from me. The truck also delivers in season vegetables and some meat weekly into a lockable cooler/box you buy and put on your property. They're selling the story as well and everything is sourced locally. There are significant costs involved with sorting and delivering each specific order. So much so, it consumes most of the premium and the individual meat producers are left with cheap pay for the extra work and all the risk involved in exposing their name.

I could see these continuing to grow if established customers in localized communities could be gathered in order to specialize routes with defined "weekly special" packages to allow easier sorting/boxing of products.

Offline E6 Durhams

  • County Champion Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2010
  • Karma 175
  • Brock Eagon 740-815-4145
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2019, 07:48:44 PM »
Location, location, location. Not only in real estate but in meat sales as well. The land you can afford to run cattle on is usually way far away from an urban area. For every successful direct marketer I can show you, I could show you five that failed. Im not sure if Ill make it or not. One thing Ive learned is to have different products to offer. Beef sells but beef sells better when you have bacon to sell along side it. Or chicken or whatever. Customers want to know your story. They want to visit. Take pictures and post to social media showing themselves as progressive thinkers. Its all a game really. You cant be afraid to be told no. My old man sold millions of dollars of water softener systems to caterpillar and other companies. He taught me the basics but its rough. Not only finding customers, but finding a good butcher, having storage, being a good marketer, learning how to cook all the cuts. Educating customers. Competing against other farmers selling at cut throat prices. Farmers passing off mediocre products that effect us all. On and on.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 07:49:46 PM by E6 Durhams »
Progress is not about using progeny differences to change cattle, it is about sustaining the good ones absent self-inflicted problems.

Offline Redwine Cattle

  • County Champion Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 596
  • Karma 27
    • View Profile
    • Redwine Cattle
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2019, 10:02:55 AM »
This is a new venture for us, we have talked and wanted to do it for the past several years but couldn't make it work. Problem for us was the bank note, we couldn't afford to skip a year selling weaned calves to get them ready for butcher, and finally get paid, the following year.

Anyway, I think being in Oklahoma helps with some of the problems you all are having with more a more urban population. We have the demand, just not enough supply.

I don't understand the pricing issue, saying that Walmart sells cheap beef and it makes it tough to compete. From my experience, Walmart is the same as the local grocery store, ground beef is around $3.00 pound, strips $11/12 a pound, ribeye's $14 a pound, an so on. My idea on direct marketing is not trying to sell an individual ribeye steak to a single person, and I don't think you should have that mentality either. However, if you do, what do do you have in him after processing and feed, $1,000? $2.30/per pound? Why can't you compete with Walmart when your cost, regardless of cut, is $2.30/per pound?

If I'm selling a 1/4, 1/2, or whole beef, the number I look at isn't $ per pound, but revenue - expenses = ?? If I have a 1,200 pound steer on the hoof, maybe he is 720# hanging. I'm going to sell at hanging weight $3.25 per pound. That's gross revenue of $2,340 for that calf. If my total input was $500, then my profit is $1,840.

On the consumer end, if they are buying a 1/2, they are going to be paying $1,170, plus half the processing at $0.70 per pound hanging weight, $252, for a total of $1,422. They are paying $6.58 per pound.

That is an easy sell. The high dollar hamburger meat around here at Walmart sells for $6.00 a pound. The big thing nowadays is farm to table, hormone free, antibiotic free, on and on, anyone that cares at all about the food they feed their families will happily pay $6.58 per pound for a 1/2 beef. You just have to tell them about it.

I had a woman call me a couple years ago asking if I could sell her an antibiotic free beef, I told her sure, I can sell you a beef that doesn't have any antibiotics in it at the time of butcher by following the strict withdrawal periods listed on the medication, she says no, I mean no antibiotics ever. I explained to her that I had not kept records as to which baby calves had been sick that winter and were given a dose of Draxxin, so I couldn't tell her for certain if they had or not. After a quick lecture from her about antibiotics, I told her that I was not about to let a baby calf die, because some woman in Oklahoma City is paranoid and that she was more than welcome to go buy some land around here at $6,500/acre and raise her own damn beef. I did learn one thing, keep track of who I give meds too, because to that woman, I could have sold her a 1/2 for $8.00/per pound if it was "antibiotic free."
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 12:37:58 PM by Redwine Cattle »
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"       ~Seneca

Offline shortybreeder

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
  • Karma 3
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2019, 06:42:31 PM »
This is a new venture for us, we have talked and wanted to do it for the past several years but couldn't make it work. Problem for us was the bank note, we couldn't afford to skip a year selling weaned calves to get them ready for butcher, and finally get paid, the following year.

Anyway, I think being in Oklahoma helps with some of the problems you all are having with more a more urban population. We have the demand, just not enough supply.

I don't understand the pricing issue, saying that Walmart sells cheap beef and it makes it tough to compete. From my experience, Walmart is the same as the local grocery store, ground beef is around $3.00 pound, strips $11/12 a pound, ribeye's $14 a pound, an so on. My idea on direct marketing is not trying to sell an individual ribeye steak to a single person, and I don't think you should have that mentality either. However, if you do, what do do you have in him after processing and feed, $1,000? $2.30/per pound? Why can't you compete with Walmart when your cost, regardless of cut, is $2.30/per pound?

If I'm selling a 1/4, 1/2, or whole beef, the number I look at isn't $ per pound, but revenue - expenses = ?? If I have a 1,200 pound steer on the hoof, maybe he is 720# hanging. I'm going to sell at hanging weight $3.25 per pound. That's gross revenue of $2,340 for that calf. If my total input was $500, then my profit is $1,840.

On the consumer end, if they are buying a 1/2, they are going to be paying $1,170, plus half the processing at $0.70 per pound hanging weight, $252, for a total of $1,422. They are paying $6.58 per pound.

That is an easy sell. The high dollar hamburger meat around here at Walmart sells for $6.00 a pound. The big thing nowadays is farm to table, hormone free, antibiotic free, on and on, anyone that cares at all about the food they feed their families will happily pay $6.58 per pound for a 1/2 beef. You just have to tell them about it.

I had a woman call me a couple years ago asking if I could sell her an antibiotic free beef, I told her sure, I can sell you a beef that doesn't have any antibiotics in it at the time of butcher by following the strict withdrawal periods listed on the medication, she says no, I mean no antibiotics ever. I explained to her that I had not kept records as to which baby calves had been sick that winter and were given a dose of Draxxin, so I couldn't tell her for certain if they had or not. After a quick lecture from her about antibiotics, I told her that I was not about to let a baby calf die, because some woman in Oklahoma City is paranoid and that she was more than welcome to go buy some land around here at $6,500/acre and raise her own damn beef. I did learn one thing, keep track of who I give meds too, because to that woman, I could have sold her a 1/2 for $8.00/per pound if it was "antibiotic free."
Not sure how you're producing fat calves with a total input of $500... but it is important to remember that, economically speaking, the calves you feed out have a value when they get put on feed. The opportunity cost is important to keep in mind with these enterprises. You also didn't get all the way through producing a weaned calf for free, and therefore your profit isn't actually $1800+ like you stated.

Offline AZWrightCattle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma 0
    • View Profile
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2019, 09:27:34 PM »
Have any of you looked into how the Piedmontese cattle are marketed and sold here in the US and World?

They are doing so well they are upping the premium for producers from $60-$80 dollars a head to $150 dollars a head. The niche marketing for shorthorns would be different but a lot of the same things could be done.

Offline Redwine Cattle

  • County Champion Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 596
  • Karma 27
    • View Profile
    • Redwine Cattle
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2019, 11:26:52 AM »
This is a new venture for us, we have talked and wanted to do it for the past several years but couldn't make it work. Problem for us was the bank note, we couldn't afford to skip a year selling weaned calves to get them ready for butcher, and finally get paid, the following year.

Anyway, I think being in Oklahoma helps with some of the problems you all are having with more a more urban population. We have the demand, just not enough supply.

I don't understand the pricing issue, saying that Walmart sells cheap beef and it makes it tough to compete. From my experience, Walmart is the same as the local grocery store, ground beef is around $3.00 pound, strips $11/12 a pound, ribeye's $14 a pound, an so on. My idea on direct marketing is not trying to sell an individual ribeye steak to a single person, and I don't think you should have that mentality either. However, if you do, what do do you have in him after processing and feed, $1,000? $2.30/per pound? Why can't you compete with Walmart when your cost, regardless of cut, is $2.30/per pound?

If I'm selling a 1/4, 1/2, or whole beef, the number I look at isn't $ per pound, but revenue - expenses = ?? If I have a 1,200 pound steer on the hoof, maybe he is 720# hanging. I'm going to sell at hanging weight $3.25 per pound. That's gross revenue of $2,340 for that calf. If my total input was $500, then my profit is $1,840.

On the consumer end, if they are buying a 1/2, they are going to be paying $1,170, plus half the processing at $0.70 per pound hanging weight, $252, for a total of $1,422. They are paying $6.58 per pound.

That is an easy sell. The high dollar hamburger meat around here at Walmart sells for $6.00 a pound. The big thing nowadays is farm to table, hormone free, antibiotic free, on and on, anyone that cares at all about the food they feed their families will happily pay $6.58 per pound for a 1/2 beef. You just have to tell them about it.

I had a woman call me a couple years ago asking if I could sell her an antibiotic free beef, I told her sure, I can sell you a beef that doesn't have any antibiotics in it at the time of butcher by following the strict withdrawal periods listed on the medication, she says no, I mean no antibiotics ever. I explained to her that I had not kept records as to which baby calves had been sick that winter and were given a dose of Draxxin, so I couldn't tell her for certain if they had or not. After a quick lecture from her about antibiotics, I told her that I was not about to let a baby calf die, because some woman in Oklahoma City is paranoid and that she was more than welcome to go buy some land around here at $6,500/acre and raise her own damn beef. I did learn one thing, keep track of who I give meds too, because to that woman, I could have sold her a 1/2 for $8.00/per pound if it was "antibiotic free."
Not sure how you're producing fat calves with a total input of $500... but it is important to remember that, economically speaking, the calves you feed out have a value when they get put on feed. The opportunity cost is important to keep in mind with these enterprises. You also didn't get all the way through producing a weaned calf for free, and therefore your profit isn't actually $1800+ like you stated.

That's the way I look at it. I have some cows that are paid for, I have annual expenses related to keeping said cows alive, I sell baby calves to cover those expenses. Once those expenses are paid for, the rest of the revenue is profit. I like numbers, and have gone way more in depth to those numbers, economically speaking. But it just doesn't make sense (for us) to look at it that way, the numbers just aren't big enough to matter. Revenue - Expenses = Profit. That's about as in depth as I go with our little hobby.

500 pounds of feed from the elevator is $100, if a steer was to eat 15 pounds per day, it would cost me less than $300 to feed him for 90 days, about $75 for hay, I don't really figure in the electric bill it cost to pump their water out of the ground. My point is it doesn't cost me more than $500 to feed out a year old calf to prepare for butcher.
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"       ~Seneca

Offline Shorthorns4us

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 299
  • Karma 15
    • View Profile
    • Ford Family Shorthorns
Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2019, 01:08:35 PM »
I think I need to clarify my model that I am working in my area.  I am selling what I call "bulk" method-- you buy a whole, 1/2 or 1/4 carcass from me.  You pay me for the hanging weight.  Last year I charged $2.65 per pound.  The customer pays the processing at the locker themselves.   They get a great deal compared to buying at the store-- even our cheap Wal-Mart here.  But most people here 1.  don't want that much at a time.  or 2.  Can't afford that much at a time.   You have a circle of people that do want this so you sell to as many as you can find.
I also sell what I call "Retail"-- this is meat the is by the package-- yes I can sell you 1 ribeye steak if that is all you want.  I compare the prices to my local Fareway, Hy-Vee and other stores-- even the Wal-Mart to set my price-- also taking into consideration what my expenses are for getting it in the package. 

The reason I started the retail was to try to get a portion of customers that don't want 1/2 beef at a time-- we have a lot of elderly folks, empty nesters, etc.  that just don't have the space or money for a 1/2 beef commitment.  But-- they would be interested in 5 pounds of this and 5 pounds of that at a time.  I thought it was a great idea to try to broaden my customer base and another revenue stream. 
I do price my cuts above the stores most of the time-- I have to cover costs and still make a little--
I lose on weeks that Hy-Vee is selling T-Bones for 5.99 a pound.  I sell for 7.99 per pound-- I can't sell for 5.99 per pound-- it doesn't pencil out for my situation. The Wal-Mart here will sometimes have gr. beef for like 1.99 per pound.  I don't sell my ground beef that low- so that is how the ball bounces that week.
 The same thing happens around here to the veggie guys-- Hy-Vee is selling tomatoes at .99 per pound-- the veggie farmer guy isn't selling his tomatoes at farmers market for that low.
EF


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
2387 Views
Last post March 19, 2014, 05:09:20 PM
by ruffinar
0 Replies
1964 Views
Last post March 19, 2014, 09:36:11 PM
by ruffinar
0 Replies
845 Views
Last post March 01, 2015, 08:08:46 AM
by librarian
1 Replies
1895 Views
Last post October 26, 2015, 03:46:35 AM
by truongthanh
9 Replies
2988 Views
Last post July 03, 2016, 12:16:31 AM
by JTM

Powered by EzPortal