More than three quarters of consumers have been put off buying steak after a bad experience with a tough cut, according to new market research.
Although consumers were showing a healthy appetite for premium quality steaks, inconsistency is the biggest barrier to those who do not buy as regularly - and it is costing the industry millions in lost revenue each year, industry figures warned.
Mike Whittemore, head of trade and product development at AHDB Beef & Lamb, which carried out the study, said: “It is great that this research robustly illustrates that a good steak is still at the heart of many consumers’ regular shopping.
“I believe, however, that we’re missing an opportunity to grow the sector even further.
“Our latest research shows that three out of four regular steak consumers have experienced a tough steak and, out of these, 22 per cent were put off buying again for some time – a third of them for more than three months.
“That’s a lot of people we’re hacking off, not just in terms of a poor eating experience, but in effectively dissuading them from repeat purchases and missing out on a significant potential sales uplift.”
The research is revealed in the latest edition of The Cutting Edge, AHDB Beef & Lamb’s quarterly category report. It found that 31 per cent of people surveyed buy fresh beef steak at least once a week.
Mr Whittemore said AHDB Beef & Lamb had issued a “come and speak to us” plea to retailers, processors and suppliers to help push up the standards of consistency in the marketplace.
He said: “We can work with you to add value and grow the steak sector of the beef market even further.”