Consumers’ choices for purchasing beef gets more diverse every day. Traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores are still a primary solution, however internet-based grocers or complete dinner solutions from online meal kit delivery services, like HelloFresh, are reliable options.
HelloFresh ships boxes of refrigerated ingredients and recipes to customers who prepare and cook the meals themselves. A large portion of their customer base is in the Northeast, where approximately a quarter of the nation’s population lives.
On August 25, 2017, the National Beef Checkoff hosted a group from the New York City HelloFresh corporate office for a full-day beef immersion experience at Thunder View Farms in Grahamsville, New York. The Richard Coombes and Philip Coombes families head Thunder View, which prides itself on raising high-quality Angus genetics. The company retains ownership of its calves through finishing, then direct markets the finished cattle.
Following the morning farm tour, which included discussions on cattle feeding, reproduction, selection and herd health, the group was treated to a lunch of smoked beef brisket, courtesy of Thunder View Farms. Kari Underly, author of “The Art of Beef Cutting,” led the group through an in-depth, beef-cutting demonstration of the beef shoulder clod, chuck roll, top sirloin and sirloin tip. The objective of the demonstration was to inspire HelloFresh to incorporate a wider variety of beef cuts in the meal-kits for customers to enjoy.
Cindy Chan Phillips, M.S., MBA, RD, and the New York Beef Council’s Director of Nutrition Education, a position funded by Nebraska and Kansas Beef Councils, addressed the group with a presentation on beef nutrition.
“We really enjoyed having the HelloFresh dietitian and protein buyers on this tour. They are dedicated to offering nutritious, tasty and sustainable foods to their customers. It was exciting to share the latest Beef WISE research on how lean beef as part of a heart healthy diet helps improve heart health and weight loss.”
At the conclusion of the event, Bridget Wasser, M.S., executive director of Meat Science and Technology at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Meghan Pusey, executive director of Consumer Marketing with NCBA, both contractors to the beef checkoff, addressed the group via a webinar and discussed the value beef brings to the e-commerce space and how to capitalize on it.
Rebecca Lewis, M.S., R.D.N., Head Dietitian with HelloFresh U.S., commented following the tour, “The love and dedicated care of the calves, cows, steers and bulls were very evident. The team enjoyed seeing the vast open space of green grass pastures the herd was able to roam upon, and learning about the genetic breeding program to create a 5-star, high-quality premium beef product. We felt the experience was incredibly valuable to better understand the nutrition and value of incorporating lean beef into recipe development. The beef cutting demonstration was particularly illustrative of how many different cuts are available for purchase, and the suggestions for use in recipe development were much appreciated.”
For more information visit NortheastBeef.org.
The Beef Checkoff program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.