Insight on new Premium Steak Burgers

In the second of our special features looking at growth and innovation in the fresh burger sector, Meat Trades Journal talks to Eblex about its plans to launch four new Premium Steak Burgers.

We look at how each of the burgers performed in consumer taste tests and take a more in-depth look at the opportunity for industry to profit from one of the burgers in the range – the Premium Rump Steak Burger.

Consumer reaction
Research has shown that mincing trim from the rump, chuck or brisket can significantly improve margin potential, but what will consumers think of the end-product?

Needing to establish this before bringing four new premium steak burgers to market, Eblex commissioned Leatherhead Food Research to carry out taste tests among a group of shoppers. In the trials, panellists were asked to taste a Premium Rump, Chuck, Brisket and Extra Lean Steak burger, as well as a ‘Premium Steak Burger’ (which acted as the control). All the burgers were assessed for five key attributes: appearance, aroma, flavour, texture and value for money – as well as ‘overall preference’ and scored on a 1-9 hedonic scale.

The results showed a clear preference for the cut specific burgers, with each of them scoring more highly than the control burger for overall preference.

•    Premium Rump Steak Burger – 6.82
•    Premium Extra Lean Steak Burger – 6.76
•    Premium Chuck Steak Burger – 6.41
•    Premium Brisket Steak Burger – 6.33
•    Control Premium Steak Burger – 6.30

It’s all in the name

So the burgers clearly stack up from a quality perspective, but Eblex also wanted to find out whether consumers would be more, or less, likely to buy a burger that is named after the primal from which it originates.

In order to determine this, the panellists were given two identical burgers to sample, but these were named differently. So, in the case of the Premium Rump Steak Burger, one of the burgers was labelled ‘Premium Steak Burger’, the other as ‘Premium Rump Steak Burger’ – although both were actually Premium Rump Steak Burgers from the same batch.

The results varied. Consumers showed a clear preference for the Rump Steak and Extra Lean Steak burgers, but, perhaps not surprisingly as shoppers are less familiar with the Brisket and Chuck, these proved to be less popular.

With increased margin to be had from all of these cut-specific burgers, the opportunity to profit is there for the taking. We know from the ‘overall liking’ scores, that the quality of the burger itself is clearly not an issue.

Although consumers are currently less familiar with some of the primal names, that will soon change once they become a regular feature on supermarket shelves, in butcher’s shops and on menus. You only have to look at the success of the previously unheard of ‘Flat Iron Steak’, to see just how quickly consumer perception can alter.

Much of Eblex’s work over the coming months will focus on helping industry to bring these products to market, and a range of marketing and promotional support material will be made available to Quality Standard Scheme members.


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