What may seem like a time-intensive process is now starting to pay off as several of the beef checkoff’s new product concepts, initially developed and tested in 2006 and 2007, were recently introduced into the marketplace.

Schwan’s launched the marinade-on-demand concept (which keeps the beef and marinade separate until the consumer is ready to marinate their steak) in a Chimichurri Beef flavor profile. In as little as 30 minutes, the steak is ready for the grill. Since introduction in late spring of 2009, over 200,000 packages have been sold with a retail value of over $2 million. Schwan’s is also receiving very positive feedback on another new product introduction developed by the beef checkoff, the Wine & Garlic Flat Iron Steak.

“New products really have to go through a rigorous, calculated process from concept to launch,” says cow/calf producer Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tenn., chair of the industry’s Joint New Product and Culinary Initiatives committee. “However, once they’re out on the shelves and into the hands of our consumers, it’s helping to drive beef demand and ensuring us a market for our cattle. New products really are the cornerstone of the future: as consumer attitudes and desires change, the beef checkoff’s Beef Innovations Group changes along with them and delivers products consumers want.”

Tyson also has several new products for retail, foodservice and international markets. One new product is Skillet Creations, a frozen retail meal kit with less sodium than Tyson’s prior offerings.

“It really is inspiring to see our beef checkoff investments come to fruition through new product launches,” concludes Houston. “I see it as a little job security. We have to stay competitive as producers, delivering a safe, wholesome product to the market. Along with that, our checkoff dollars are being invested to take that safe, nutritious product and introduce products consumers are asking for.”

In the coming week, watch for information about other new beef products making their way to the dinner tables of consumers.

For more information about new beef products, visit BeefInnovationsGroup.com. For more information about the beef checkoff, go to MyBeefCheckoff.com.

Source: Melissa Slagle, 303-867-6306; mslagle@beefboard.org