Nev., July 10, 2006 -- The checkoff-funded Beef Innovations Group (BIG), formerly known as R&D
Ranch, is intensifying efforts to be the beef industry's primary resource for
new product information and leadership. Anyone - from producers and processors
to foodservice and retail channels - looking for the latest product trends, technologies
and possibilities should "think BIG," said Cattlemen's Beef Board member
Hope Huffman, a Texas producer and chairman of the checkoff's New Product and
Culinary Initiatives Committee.
Among the new resources: an all-new Web site; a step-by-step product development
process to share with the industry; and a global tracking system to monitor
new beef and veal products arriving in the retail market. These tools are designed
to help the BIG team act as an industry catalyst for the ideas and processes
that give rise to new beef products.
"BIG has expanded services and resources for the changing times," Huffman
explained. "If we're going to compete with other proteins, we must be ready
with the ideas, people and systems to roll out the kinds of beef and veal products
that consumers want."
New initiatives under the BIG umbrella include:
• A Web site, (www.beefinnovationgroup.com), a one-stop industry resource for
leading-edge information, articles, tips and ideas.
• In-depth research and testing among youth, to help influence lifelong beef
• Development of a successful "hand-held" line of beef products
• Further research into uses for the chuck roll and knuckle, as well as shredded
beef and ground beef initiative support.
• Development of a patent pending steak sandwich product for Quick Service Restaurants
• Use of Mintel, a global new product development database, to track flavor trends,
new kid-focused products, innovative packaging and all beef product offerings.
The BIG team, comprising scientists, culinary professionals, operation experts,
marketers and product specialists, has a notable R&D track record. The checkoff-funded
muscle-profiling study, released in 1999, resulted in the Beef Value Cuts (BVCs).
Some 103 million pounds of these cuts were sold through foodservice last year
and 20,000 U.S. restaurants have menued at least one of these cuts. On the
retail side, some 5,000 supermarkets carried the BVCs in 2005, up from 321