At Viandes Rheintal, a quarter of beef costs around $1,100. Although this sum may seem considerable, the company that specializes in organic meat processing sells much more than before, according to owner Guylaine Buecheli. And she is not the only one.
Posted at 5:00 am
Pork half, veal quarter, whole lamb. Demand for large cuts of meat has been on the rise for several months, several breeders and processors say, joined by Press, which sell directly from the farm. A concern for the economy and the desire to fill a freezer bought by many at the beginning of the pandemic could partly explain these changes in the way of consuming, they analyze.
“I sell a lot more veal and pork quarters,” confirms M.me Buecheli, whose business is located in Bécancour, in the Centre-du-Québec region. For its “large formats”, it registered an increase in sales of between 5% and 7%. These figures are quite surprising, he admits. “We are still at the top of the range. And you have to pay it right away, the amount”, he stresses. “In the end, you have to save, he adds, however. If you buy all those parts at retail, it is more expensive. »
In Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville, in Montérégie, Laurie-Anne Généreux, co-owner of the Les Bouchées double estate, also notes a propensity to buy “volume”. She figures to have twice as many requests for corpses for a few months. “I really notice an increase in the interest in buying carcass, both in veal and in pork and lamb. People really want to buy large volumes because, per kilo, the price is more advantageous. »
According to her, buying a whole animal, the beef tenderloin can cost 13 dollars a kilo, compared to 50 dollars a kilo in some butcher shops. METERme Généreux également également que en faisant l’achat d’un porc entier — sold from $850 a sa ferme —, une famille made up of quatre people que mange du porc en moyenne une fois par semaine aura de la viande dans son congélateur for a year.
Although it is a large sum to pay at first, Laurie-Anne Généreux makes sure that her prices remain competitive with supermarkets. “Before inflation, we were a little more expensive than in the supermarket,” she admits. Since the inflation, we have not increased our prices. We produce our own hay. There is no intermediary, apart from the slaughterhouse. It allows us to maintain a certain margin. We prefer to absorb slight inflation. »
The effects of the pandemic
In addition to inflation, which is pushing consumers to look for ways to spend differently, the pandemic, characterized by numerous supply problems, would explain this craze for veal quarters or other whole lamb.
“During the pandemic, people lived in fear of running out of water,” recalls Marie-Philippe Saint-Vincent, owner of the estate of the same name.
“People panicked a bit,” Laurie-Anne Généreux also noted. At the start of the pandemic, she felt a lot of concern among some consumers who feared food shortages.
According to the two women, many consumers who have become accustomed to buying half meat, sometimes shared by several families, continue to do so.
Many people bought freezers during the pandemic. Even at one point, there weren’t any more on the market.
Carole Marcoux, co-owner of Le porc de Beaurivage
At Best Buy, for example, freezer sales increased 200% between 2019 and 2020, confirms Thierry López, director of marketing. At the time, Public Health recommended that the population avoid many trips to the supermarket.
Now that people have more storage space, they are more likely to buy in bulk, says Ms.me Marcoux.
In Huntingdon, at Fermes Valens, where organic meat is produced, sales manager Judith Fouquet is also noticing new behavior among her customers, especially due to inflation. The products that the company promotes find buyers in record time. The cut-price pork loins sold out in two days, when stock normally runs out after a month, she says. And in the chicken coop the sale of eggs has increased. “People also want to buy less expensive proteins. We notice different behaviors that are all related to the same case. »
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