Value-added Products are items which have been manipulated or changed in some way to make them worth more to the consumer. In the industry, this can refer to products that are brined and smoked, seasoned sausages with or without casings, or even something as simple as a preformed hamburger patty. There are a few reasons you might want to consider value-added products.
First, they can help move some product that might be sitting on your shelves a bit longer than expected. When you consider that half of every beef is hamburger, it’s not uncommon for beef producers to find themselves with a stockpile of burger even though they are moving through steaks and roasts much faster. Hamburger Patties, Bratwurst, and Italian Sausages are all simple items which can help sell some ground stock. Customers like the convenience of Hamburger Patties and are more likely to purchase them on impulse in preparation of a party or a day at the lake. Patties are also ideal for restaurant use, and a good portion of the patties we make go into food service. Bratwurst and Italian Sausages, while good for a day at the lake as well, are an excellent option for people looking for something different than your standard burger. Cased sausages can be served on a bun, as an appetizer, in a pasta, or combined with a pasta salad. Bulked sausages can be used in pasta sauces, meatloaves or even as a patty at breakfast.
This brings us to the second benefit of value-added production, variety. Don’t just be the steak guy or the hamburger guy, but remind your customers that they can use your products for every meal. Not only does this increase your sales, but it also reinforces the idea of whole animal utilization. I like to have at least two recipes or meal ideas for every product we have to sell. If you aren’t much of a cook yourself or have a terrible memory like me, you can offer recipe cards at your farmers market or on your website featuring your products, especially the value-added ones. For those with a ‘specialty’ or ‘exotic’ meat offering, value-added products can be a way for customers to “dip their toes in the water,” so to speak. Customers may be hesitant to try something like Buffalo, Yak or Highland Beef, but might not be so afraid of sausage or jerky.
Ultimately, only you can determine if value-added products are going to be beneficial to your business or not. For all species, we offer Sausage, Bratwurst, Hot or Sweet Italian sausages and Patties. Pricing varies from $0.75/lb (boxed patties) up to $3.75/lb (small breakfast links) and everywhere in between. If it’s an investment in your products, you are debating making; please give us a call to discuss your options. As always, we consider ourselves a partner in your business and would love to help you succeed in whatever capacity we can. If you have an idea or are on the fence about a particular product offering, we’re here to assist.