Thursday, February 20 2014
Last week I attended the NGA show in Las Vegas. This is the largest show of its kind for indendent grocery chains. The best session that I attended was by Erik Qualman, author of "Digital Leader" and "Socialnomics", who spoke on social media. Erik showed us examples of small and large companies that have effectively used social media to increase sales, communicate with customers and build brand awareness. If you had been with me in the seminar, I think you would have had the same impressions: 1. Social media is not going away, it's not a temporary fad, it's only going to become even more important, 2) Many, if not most food companies, big and small, are not dedicating enough resources to social media, 3) If I want my company to survive and thrive, I'd better get serious about dedicating time and money to social media. I will blog later this month about both of Erik's books when I have finished reading them. Until then, make sure your company's Facebook page is current.
Thursday, February 06 2014
There are a lot of forcasts for beef getting even more expensive in 2014. Chef's and consumers are already shocked at beef prices so far this year. Will they get worse? Predicting this is as hard as predicting the outcome of a football game, like the latest Super Bowl! Yes the beef herd is small, yes live cattle prices are at all time record highs and yes prices are higher than last year this time. But consumer demand for beef is down and will continue to diminish as people eat less beef. At the grocery store last week, the meat manager told me he is selling less beef and more chicken for January. Seems that consumers have a "threshhold" of what they are willing to pay for a beef roast or steak. Grinds continue to sell well, this is in part because retailers mark up ground beef much less than they mark up steaks and roasts, unless they run an ad or special. Other factors effect the price of beef. Export demand, imports (especially trim and grinding material that keep ground beef prices down), price of pork and chicken and the overall economy. We will see retailers buying more South American beef to sell as grinds this year to keep consumers happy an affordable ground beef. This will keep the price of US grinds in check.