Jun 17
by Doug Piper

Value Adding

Have you ever thought that value adding did not suit your business or you customers would not buy it?

Customers are looking for more than chops, steaks and sausages today. Many families are dual income, time poor and still struggle to put a good meal together every night. The easy option is those "Quick Service Restaurants" (QSR`s) like McDonalds, Kentucky and Domino`s etc; no cooking and in most cases delivered to your door. Not a healthy or fresh alternative but serves a purpose.

Look at how the retail supermarkets are taking on the independent butchers with their expanding range of value add fresh and cooked meats. It is popular, if you see the majors doing something it has been tested in trial stores and obviously they see an opportunity, however they cannot make it themselves, butchers have the advantage of pushing the "Freshly made" and "Made In store or Homemade" story when selling these products.

Value adding is still very popular in butcher shops, many customers are still looking for that easy meal solution. If you want to dip a toe in the water, you do not have to make anything too fancy when you start. Look at sausage rolls, simple and easy to make and a "cheap and cheerful" family favourite in many Aussie homes for snacks or dinner. You can make them a variety of sizes, short snack/kids size or longer ones. 

You can make them out of your popular sausage mixes, or stick to the plain version. Look at adding some bread crumbs, even a flavoured breadcrumb mix like the good old sage & onion to the mix to make the meat eat a little softer but don’t go overboard otherwise they end up quite dense and flavourless.

Alternatively, my favourites are Empanadas, you can buy empanada clams online or in some kitchen/home stores, they are cheap and can make you a lot of money. If you use one of the smaller clams, you can only put approx 30 - 40 grams of flavoured mince inside these and they are quick to cook, do the math/costings $$$. Make sure you tell your customers to egg wash them prior to cooking to make the pastry golden.

I have seen some brilliant value add displays and ideas on my travels around the states, some butchers are extremely talented artists at value adding, it gives your business a point of difference. If you are looking at cooking, ensure you check with your state/local Food Safety Authority.

  • Buy the bulk rolls of pastry from your dry goods suppliers to keep costs down.
  • When producing pastries make all pastries on a clean dry cutting board to avoid cross contamination and discolouration of the pastry.
  • Keep the blue plastic on the products for as long as possible, even when displaying.
  • Special packaging like sandwich or roll clams to pack the products in so they arrive home in the same way they left your shop, again check with your dry goods supplier they often have a range of products.
  • Designate a time each week; that is your value added production time.
  • Pastries freeze well, so if you have the time make some extras and freeze them.

If you want to try pastries there are some brilliant beef and lamb recipe ideas available for sausage rolls, empanadas, strudels and a range of other lines in the Value Added section of the Australian Butchers Guild website.

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