The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way consumers shop, cook and eat. It has also changed the way meat marketers procure and distribute products. Pack sizes, trimmed cuts and restaurant-quality formats have never been more important to the home cook.
Recognizing this, Pre Brands, Chicago, a provider of 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef from Australia and New Zealand, will be adding Pre Center-Cut Beef Tenderloin Roast to its lineup for the holiday season. The company will also expand beyond beef and start offering lamb this winter.
“Whether consumers are spending holidays quietly with only immediate family or hosting a larger celebration, they’ll be craving something special this year,” said Kevin Ponticelli, chief executive officer. “Culinary-minded home cooks and better-for-you customers are interested in pursuing high-end restaurant quality in their own kitchens.”
Pre beef is farmed in Australia and New Zealand, where the climate is mild and pastures lush, which enables cows to graze outside all year-round. The nutrient-rich beef is shipped in the subprimal form by sea freight, which has a lower carbon footprint than other methods of transport such as air, rail or motor vehicle, according to the company. Pre beef is cut, trimmed or ground and packaged for nationwide distribution in Chicago.
The company started selling its premium branded beef products in Chicago about five years ago and quickly expanded distribution in the Midwest. Prior to the pandemic, the brand was picked up by numerous chains in the New York metro area. Product is also sold through the company’s e-commerce site and by Amazon, which has been very successful during the pandemic.
The company had doubled its capacity in February by growing its supplier base and moving to a new manufacturing partner. Since the pandemic began, Pre has consistently delivered high-quality product with minimal disruption, thanks to a steel-tough supply chain. In the past six months, Pre has demonstrated not only resilience but also reliability, with sales growth exceeding 130% year over year.
Like all Pre beef, the new 28-oz roast is 100% grass-fed and finished, with no added hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. It has a suggested retail price of $49.99.
Pre beef comes in a range of ground lean/fat blends and steaks. It is the largest grass-fed or organic steak brand in the United States. All Pre beef is packaged in airtight, completely transparent, vacuum-sealed plastic that is 100% nitrate- and BPA-free.
“Fresh meat is one of the least developed branded food categories,” Ponticelli said. “There’s power to branding, as the brand defines a proposition. It promises consistency.”
That’s what the Pre brand is all about. This is showcased in the packaging that allows the consumer to inspect the complete piece of meat. The company uses this type of packaging to create a tight, vacuum seal in order to ensure the steaks and ground beef stay fresh for a long period of time.
“The film is transparent on all sides of the product,” Ponticelli said. “We use a patented packaging structure that is very shoppable.”