- Grand Champion and Best New Retail Beef Product: RMH Foods Inc. Quick-N-Easyw Top Sirloin Steaks in Bourbon Sauce.Made with "certified angus beef"™, these sirloins are aged for tenderness then fully cooked in a bourbon sauce made with spices and a touch of oak-aged whiskey for flavor. The two steaks per pack can be heated in a microwave in eight minutes.
- Best New Foodservice Beef Product: King's Command Foods' (Fully Cooked) Old Fashioned Style Beef Patties. These fully cooked natural-shaped patties are made from ground beef and lightly seasoned and flame-broiled with char marks. When thawed, the patties cook in minutes.
- Best New Beef Product Marketed by a Small Company: Eaves Foods Inc. CAB BUBBA burger™. Frozen 100% beef burgers are composed of fresh ground certified angus beef whole muscle chucks. The burgers come six to a package and can be placed right onto the grill or skillet frozen and can be served in 10 minutes with texture like homemade.
- Most Innovative, Commercially Promising New Beef Product: Harris Ranch Beef Company's Fully Cooked Western Style Beef Stew. A cubed lean beef brisket is combined with garden vegatables in a hearty beef stock, slow-cooked to produce a beef stew. Containing more than 50% beef, the stew can be heated in the microwave in about six minutes.
The spices and seasonings for beef have certainly played a part in the growth of beef consumption in the U.S., but beef manufacturers should also be commended for their part in making their products consumer-friendly. To recognize manufacturers of retail and foodservice beef products, the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the nation's beef producers sponsored the Best New Beef Products Awards 2000. Winners in each of the four categories were:
"The winners of this awards program--and the nearly 100 entries in total--clearly demonstrate that beef is working to meet the needs of today's busy consumers," said Carl Blackwell, executive director of new product development for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). "Many of these new, branded beef products can be heated and served in just minutes--providing consumers with a convenient meal solution, the great taste of beef and a bundle of essential nutrients."
The beef industry has seen seven straight quarters of increased beef demand, and according to Chuck Schroeder, chief executive officer of NCBA, the group has an aggressive long-range plan to keep demand and profitability growing. That plan is centered around communication and cooperation among industry segments but will also focus on:
- Introducing convenient beef products to help busy consumers.
- Increasing awareness of essential nutrients in beef--like zinc, iron, protein and many B-vitamins.
- Expanding the export market for U.S. beef products.
NCBA has helped promote a new category of fully cooked beef roasts, steaks and other entrees that can be heated in the microwave and ready in about 10 minutes. Since then, sales of these products have increased 41.4%, and annual sales for the category topped $84 million as of December 2000, according to ACNielsen.