REtail Dietitians: Engaging Shoppers to drive beef sales

Consumers look to retailers for education on nutrition and health

Health and nutrition are top of mind for consumers and can be a barrier when deciding to purchase beef. With more dietitians working in retail grocery, there's an opportunity for meat departments and dietitians to work together to help consumers understand the meat case, the nutritional benefits of beef, enhance food safety and provide meal solutions.

Here are ideas on how to educate consumers about beef's positive health, nutrition and taste attributes.

Beef in the Early Years 

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Women Infants and Children’s Program (WIC) and now for the first time ever, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend introducing solid foods, like beef, to infants and toddlers, in order to pack in every bite with protein, iron, zinc and choline.1-5  Read on to learn how and why to incorporate beef through various life stages. 

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Lean Beef Choices

A cooked serving of lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients for around 170 calories, less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams (3½ oz) and per RACC (Reference Amount Customarily Consumed), which is 85 grams (3 oz).  A telltale sign that a cut is lean is if the word “Round” or “Loin” is in the name—that’s quite a lot of cuts if you think about it!  In fact, thanks to enhancements in cattle breeding and feeding as well as improved trimming practices, more than 60 percent of whole muscle beef cuts found in the supermarket are considered lean when cooked with visible fat trimmed. 

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BEef Nutrition Continuing Education

The Beef Checkoff has launched a new continuing education portal for healthcare professionals, the Beef Nutrition Education Hub. From evidence-based educational webinars, to podcasts featuring credentialed health experts and immersive learning experiences, individuals will have access to a variety of complimentary resources and can earn up to 30 continuing professional education units (CPEUs) through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the American College of Sports Medicine. Healthcare professionals must register in order to access content eligible for CPEUs.

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Shopper Guidance in the Beef Case – From Confusion to Confidence 

The following tips for store tour education, with a focus on the beef case, were developed with Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, a nationally-recognized food and nutrition consultant. Shari is owner and president of Shari Steinbach & Associates, LLC, a nutrition and culinary communication consulting firm connecting food companies, health professionals and consumers in the retail setting. With over 25 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian with two major supermarkets, Shari understands the retail wellness landscape and consumer needs. 

In-store demonstrations

Hold cooking and tasting demos in the meat department, led by a dietitian. Draw shoppers in with beef's aroma and taste, and engage them by sharing quick tips on beef's nutrition and versatility.

  • Select recipes that are quick and easy to prepare
  • Cross merchandise recipe ingredients near the demo station
  • Display recipe cards or meal ideas as a takeaway for shoppers

Offer cooking classes led by a dietitian or trained store associate to go more in-depth on preparation methods and beef’s nutrition in a hands-on setting.

  • Schedule cooking classes at different times of day to appeal to a range of shoppers
  • Inform attendees on the nutritional profile of the meal being prepared and how to pair it with fruits, vegetables and other nutritious sides
  • Educate attendees on the beef cut featured in the recipe, and why it works for the specific cooking method
  • Package other ingredients featured and pantry essentials in a “to-go” bag for purchase to increase store-wide sales

Beef Case Educational Tour

Whether you're supporting shoppers who are looking for a lean cut for a weeknight family dinner or a large, tender cut for a holiday roast, we want you to feel confident helping your customers choose the perfect cut at the meat case. Use this handout to keep to a tour at the beef case simple and informative. 

Identify Recommended Beef Cuts

Designate a specific beef cut each week as the “RD’s Pick” or “RD-approved" to call attention to lean beef options in the meat case.

  • Create a branded icon that the RD can use throughout the store, for aided awareness with shoppers
  • Include the pick-of-the-week in weekly circulars and featuring activity

explore different beef cuts >

RD-Endorsed Meal Kits, Heat n Serve, Recipes & Handouts

Collaborate with store chefs to create healthy and convenient meal kits with lean beef, making it easy for busy shoppers to cook nutritious meals at home.

  • Display recipes and materials at the point-of-sale; make it clear that they are endorsed by your store's corporate or in-store dietitian
  • Include nutrition information for recipes and meal solutions
  • Provide handouts or links to online content about the many lean beef options with and the nutrients found in beef

Extend nutrition and health education through Omni channel marketing shopper engagement

Incorporate messaging about healthy beef meals through your store’s marketing channels.

  • Create content for the store’s social media platforms, including conducting Facebook Live chats and cooking demonstrations. Use our wide library of recipes and food photography when creating content.
  • Work with marketing staff to create educational and informative content for the store’s website, online shopping portals and mobile applications.