Have you ever gone to the grocery store for no other reason than to buy a piece of steak? We would argue it’s pretty uncommon. More than likely, we go to the grocery store to pick up the essentials always needed in the house (milk, eggs, bread, etc.) and perhaps the ingredients needed to put together some meals for the coming week.
So, then, why do you walk out of the grocery store with a thick T-bone or two?
It could be because when you walked past the fresh meat display, something caught your eye. Something drew you to the beef laid out behind glass and a little switch clicked in your head: “That’s it. That’s what’s for dinner tonight.”
Human psychology and the perfect piece of meat
You likely already know that goods in a grocery stores, and most other retail locations, for that matter, are never just haphazardly thrown together. Not by a long shot.
These stores are very carefully designed and organized based on information on buyer psychology. Take the dairy section, for example. This is one of the most common destinations for shoppers who “just need to run in for one thing”, and in many stores it is far from the entrance. This means shoppers must walk through a greater number of aisles, seeing a greater number of products, on their way to and from the dairy case. That way, the chances of an additional impulse purchase increases.
Likewise, the way fresh items like meat and produce are displayed is carefully balanced between practicality and psychological impact.
Do those heads of broccoli and lettuce really need a tiny spritz of water every few minutes in order to stay fresh and delicious? While it could be helpful, the automatic mister is also there to create beads of condensation on the produce that could cause us to associate concepts like, “clean, fresh, healthy, and refreshing”.
When it comes to fresh meat, most of us have never lived on a farm or worked with a butcher, and we may not know much about choosing a quality cut of meat. But we have been conditioned to understand that a deep, rich color, uniform texture, and recognizable cut are all positive attributes of fresh meat.
To capitalize on this, savvy store owners will make sure their meats are displayed in as appealing a manner as possible, especially when it comes to cut and color.
How to improve your meat displays
If you run a deli or butcher shop, or you manage or distribute paper to larger grocery stores, and you’re not currently taking advantage of ways to improve they way meat is displayed, now’s the time to jump on board.
Creating an eye-catching and appealing fresh meat display can be as simple as taking a little extra time in choosing which cuts to display where, as well as investing in some very inexpensive and simple supplies:
- Trim each cut of meat to match the customer’s mental image - A thick ribeye steak should include plenty of fat marbling and edging, while a tougher flank steak should be trimmed as lean as possible.
- Keep the edges of the meat smooth and the surface uniform. Always use sharp instruments and clean strokes with a focus on the grain of the meat so that each piece of meat is cut precisely.
- Use colored food service paper like black steak paper to display each cut. Steak paper is specifically designed to both keep the meat display neat and clean and to set off the rich color of the meat. The uniform sheeting and vibrant colors of specifically designed steak paper adds a level of visual appeal to impact customers.
- Always keep the freshest cuts on display. While some minor browning or discoloration of fresh meat may not impact its taste or quality, to the naive customer’s eye, it can equate to spoilage. Make sure all the meat you display is still brightly colored and attractive.
For other great branding and selling ideas using steak paper, take a look at the other great posts we’ve recently published regarding food service paper. As always, we welcome you to contact us to learn more about the right paper for your needs.
*Photo courtesy of alansviews.blogspot.com