New-age methods of communicating “hot button” issues, especially those involving food activism, is an important challenge facing the beef industry, according to restaurant analyst Nancy Kruse. She spoke yesterday morning during Beef Industry University, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.

Kruse said smart phones, social media and other technological advancements allow an individual to communicate with an unlimited number of people. This easy communication makes more aggressive consumer education a necessity for the beef industry. Kruse pointed to lean, finely textured beef as an example of the effect a few uninformed people can have. Ranchers and feeders, in her view, must address antibiotic and hormone use with consumers if they want to avoid similar problems.

She also suggested increasingly busy lifestyles are leading consumers  to demand greater convenience. This opens opportunities for growth in beef consumption. She encouraged the industry to develop more beef snacks, deli items and precooked entrees.

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