Shoppers are becoming more selective in their purchases each week. Now with more options than ever before, today’s customer can find brands they trust that align to their personal values and lifestyle. The demand is now on suppliers to develop products to meet the customers’ unique expectations.
That’s the strategic entry point for the team at Zephyr Foods as they burst into the market with a rare-to-find, high-demand product: Kosher beef. Michael Turley, CEO of Zephyr Foods, was a recent guest on the 8th & Walton Conference Call podcast. He explained why Kosher beef can be difficult to distribute nationally and how the team at Zephyr is meeting the challenge.
Not Just Any Beef can be Kosher
Turley begins by contrasting beef with other products on the market. He explains why it’s easy to find some Kosher products in many areas, but with beef, the challenge is the process.
“It’s extremely difficult,” he begins. “Of all the Kosher products on the market, beef is the most difficult to produce. When dealing with a live animal, unlike packaged goods that might deal with just flour and agricultural-grown items, the fresh beef process is just really involved.”
Turley went on the explain the process and how Zephyr ensures their products qualify as Kosher.
“There are two primary things that make beef in a package Kosher,” he illustrates. “One is the way they actually harvest the animal. It’s done by a Rabbi in a specific process that dates back to biblical times.
“Secondly, once the animal is slaughtered, there’s an internal inspection process that’s very rigorous and very specific. All things being equal, you could have two animals that are perfectly healthy and prime beef. However, if there is even a tiny imperfection in a lung, then that animal can’t be Kosher. It’s a very sensitive process that ensures only the top animals can become Kosher.”
A New Demand for Kosher Products
As stated before, shoppers gravitate toward products and brands that align with their choices and values. Turley sees this demand from more consumers choosing Kosher products. It’s a quality that’s trusted by shoppers both inside and outside religious communities.
“Our research shows there is strong consumer demand for Kosher beef, and not necessarily just from the Jewish population,” he says. “In fact, more than two-thirds of those that say they choose to each Kosher are not Jewish. They have a trust in foods that are Kosher.
“It’s almost characterized as the ‘Good Housekeeping’ seal that our grandparents looked for while shopping. When consumers see a product is Kosher, they know it’s a higher level of quality in a product.”
There’s More to Innovate in High-Quality Beef
Bringing Kosher beef to the mass market is just one project for Zephyr Foods. As Turley explains, his team is always planning for a new market breakthrough.
“Outside of working on our Kosher line, we’ve got a very exciting project we’re doing around single-source ground beef,” he says. “Our One Source brand is going to be very unique in the industry. A package of our ground beef will be traceable to a single animal. That’s unlike today where a package of ground beef may be from 100, or even 1,000 cows in a single package.”
To hear our full interview with Michael Turley and learn more about Zephyr Foods, click here to listen to the podcast.