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Agriculture Today

Common cuts can cause confusion for consumers

Common cuts can cause  confusion for consumers

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Wilson County News
July 31, 2013
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Shoppers may be surprised or confused by selections at the meat counter, with recent changes in the pork and beef industries. Some common cuts have changed names, while others share names from the two industries. The Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards established in 1973, according to, “seen as a guarantee for consumers that the same cut of meat would have the same name in every store, in every city across the country.”
The last time the industry updated the list by adding new meat cut names and deleting “unappealing” names, was in 2005. At that time, “The National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff wanted to talk to consumers to see if anything else should be changed to make it easier for them to understand cut names,” and led to a focus group study in 2011.
This update was the result of extensive research conducted with involvement from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association -- the main contractor of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board -- and the National Pork Board.
According to the Beef Retail website, consumers:
•“Are confused by industry standard cut names.
•“Want on-pack information to be easy-to-read and quick to understand.
•“Lack confidence in choosing the right cut for different cooking methods.
•“Want healthy and delicious recipe ideas and inspiration.
•State “inconsistencies across the industry are adding” to their confusion.
The end result: simplified cut names and information on how to prepare the meat purchased.
The Pork Retail Professionals website states that “14 cuts of pork are getting new consumer-friendly cut names, many that align with already-famous beef names.”
Examples include:
•Pork loin chops will be called pork porterhouse chops.
•Pork rib chop is a pork ribeye chop.
•Pork top loin chop is now pork New York chop.
The revised meat labels will consist of three parts -- a consumer-friendly name or cut identifier, cut characteristics (cut form or shape), and the preparation method.
See “common names” chart for examples of what consumers will see at the meat counter.
New campaigns
Both the Texas Beef Council and the National Pork Producers Council have recently begun new ad campaigns that include the new cuts.
The “Above All Else” beef campaign (Texas Beef Council) aims at the Gen-Xers (ages 25 to 44) along with the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” campaign, while the pork industry has released radio promos enticing listeners to visit the “Pork Be Inspired” website.

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