In 2000, the Chairman’s Reserve® Meats team started on a quest to provide exceptional meat to discerning customers. Since then, the team has demonstrated a yearning hunger for excellence and growth that shows no signs of stopping.
For their 20th anniversary, the Chairman’s Reserve Meats team is looking back on their evolution from what was once a single offering premium beef provider to what it is today: the only brand with a two-tier, dual protein offering of both Premium and Prime beef and pork.
In the beginning, the Chairman’s Reserve Meats team exclusively offered high-quality Premium beef but they didn’t stop there. Like true chairmen, they pushed forward and grew their offerings to provide even higher quality pork and beef. The best wasn’t good enough for the Chairman’s Reserve Meats team; they had to be better – even when that meant innovating beyond industry standards to ensure their meat had a level of choice, quality and consistency that retailers could depend on and shoppers could understand.
Although USDA quality grading seems obvious to most retailers, it can be difficult to explain to even the most astute customers. Countless books could be (and have been) written about the intricacies of grading beef quality, but Chairman’s Reserve Prime Beef is explained relatively easily. First and foremost, the beef in this program must align with USDA Prime quality grade standards, which represents only about the top 10 percent of beef available in this country. Chairman’s Reserve Premium Beef aligns with the upper two-thirds of USDA Choice quality grade. This grade offers great quality, while remaining accessible in both supply and cost for most shoppers.
But even if customers can grasp the concept of USDA beef grades, determining the quality of pork can be confusing to the most savvy shoppers. The USDA doesn’t offer quality grades for pork, so it can be difficult for shoppers to determine the quality of pork cuts before they commit to buying them. That ambiguity didn’t sit well with the Chairman’s Reserve Meats team. To ensure their customers know exactly what level of quality they’re getting, they created their very own standardized grading system for pork – and they depend on retailers to pass their knowledge on to consumers.
Marbling and color play the biggest factors when it comes to judging the quality of pork. Just like beef, marbling levels in pork determine how tender and flavorful a particular cut will be. Meanwhile, the color of pork is evidence of the meat’s pH levels. The more ideal the pH, the more likely the pork is to naturally retain moisture. The Chairman’s Reserve Meats team uses scores in these two characteristics to sort their cuts into two program tiers of quality: Prime and Premium. This process is so selective, Chairman’s Reserve Prime Pork is proven to be 25 percent more tender than all other leading pork brands without added solution.
In addition to the specification requirements, the Chairman’s Reserve Meats team hand selects and hand trims their beef and pork to guarantee the most consistent outgoing product. Their beef and pork experts sort meat by quality level using their strict standards and then move on to the hand-trimming process, which ensures customers aren’t paying for excess fat. The final product? Meat that exceeds discerning shoppers’ standards – every time.
Of course, this dedication to quality, consistency and choice doesn’t amount to much if the meat never reaches American shopping lists and dinner tables. That’s where retailers come into play. Grocers are ultimately in control of what products they make available to shoppers, and that depends on what type of shoppers they want to attract. Whether retailers choose to offer Prime or Premium meat – or a combination of the two – it’s important to educate shoppers on the quality of what’s in the meat case.
With Chairman’s Reserve pork and beef, that education process is simpler. Between the marbling and rich flavor of their Prime and Premium beef and the tenderness and versatility of Prime and Premium pork, the strict standards of the Chairman’s Reserve Meats team guarantee an excellent eating experience, no matter what quality tier grocers decide to offer. As long as grocers are able to communicate everything that goes into Chairman’s Reserve pork and beef offerings to shoppers, there’s really no wrong choice.
To keep customers satisfied, retailers should constantly be evaluating their product mix to make it relevant to the consumers, the season and evolving food trends, while also explaining why quality matters. As consumers gain access to more refined eating experiences through social media and restaurants, they demand and deserve a new level of quality. Summer cookouts no longer revolve around cheap hot dogs and burgers; they require the finest beef and pork to make grilling feel special. Holiday dinners now go beyond a tough roast in the center of the table; shoppers want to celebrate with the best of the best.
Specialized merchandising, quality offerings and education all play a role in giving customers exactly what they want. Like the Chairman’s Reserve Meats brand, retailers should always look for ways to one-up themselves in terms of providing the best experience to shoppers. Treating meat procurement with the same confidence, expertise and discernment of a chairman means retailers can offer consumers a reserve of only the best quality and most consistent meat, which drives loyalty and satisfaction overall. And creating a shopping experience that gives consumers an excellent selection and the education they need to make the best choices for their lifestyle puts shoppers themselves in the chairman’s seat.
For more information on Chairman’s Reserve Meats, click here.