OSU-FAPC helping to launch new beefsteak


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STILLWATER, Okla. – On April 17, 2012, the Vegas Strip Steak® was unveiled exclusively as the “newest” beefsteak at the Protein Innovation Summit in Chicago, Ill. Today, more than a year later, the process to extract the steak is patent pending and the new beef cut is ready to market.

Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is helping to promote and launch the Vegas Strip Steak® into the foodservice market.

However, Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing specialist, said the steak is so new many people do not know of its existence.

“If people have never heard of it and don’t know how to prepare it, meat companies won’t be able to sell it,” she said.

As a result, efforts are being made to bridge this knowledge gap with possible distributors.

“We are continuing to educate all potential users of this new discovery and opportunity,” said Jake Nelson, FAPC value-added meat processing specialist. “A newly discovered steak with wonderful palatability attributes now exists. It is available in the market, yet it has not reached its full market potential, due, perhaps, in part to ignorance of its availability and market potential.”

Much is being done to market the new beefsteak to suppliers and users.

“A website, printed materials, personal conversations and other correspondences are shared with suppliers and users as sources of information,” Nelson said. “Quite simply, we visit potential users of the steak, offer samples for evaluation and discuss supply options. Basically, we’re spreading the word about a new menu option or alternative.”

Co-inventor of the Vegas Strip Steak®, Tony Mata of Mata & Associates, said the steak offers a unique opportunity not only to packers but also to further processors.

“I’m working with companies that process two-piece chucks into ground beef,” he said. “The idea is to salvage the muscle from the fate of the grinder and move it to a far more valuable place, the center of the plate.”

Nelson contends educating packers is a key part in the process of marketing the steak.

“Working with packers involves describing the technology, presenting the model – which demonstrates incremental value – and helping them identify new users or new customers,” he said. “Beef packing companies operate an extremely complex process, so we hope to act as a resource for them about the steak and its attributes.

Nelson explains the complexity of the packing sector is such that it could be a slow process.

“The industry is generally slow to change,” he said. “But this technology is quite simple, so it should be a relatively easy adjustment to the process.”

Although the steak is still new, Mata said he has no doubt it will become more popular thanks to its great reviews and the originality it brings to the table.

“The current supplier of the steak is pretty much running at full capacity, and the product has been well accepted at high-end restaurants,” Mata said. “Chefs really like it because it gives them the opportunity to use a tender cut and execute diversity in menu applications. Many are using it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, allowing them to express their creativity.”

FAPC, located on OSU’s main Stillwater campus, has been in contact with The Rancher’s Club and Freddie Paul’s Steakhouse, two local restaurants, to get the steak added to their menus.

“We have been working with a distributor who has agreed to supply The Rancher’s Club with the steak,” Graves said.  “We are excited to see the steak offered on their menu this summer.”

The Rancher’s Club ran a special lunch promotion of the Vegas Strip Steak® recently, and the steak was well received by the customers. The Vegas Strip Steak® is scheduled to be permanently on its menu in early July.

The development of the Vegas Strip Steak® has not gone unnoticed, as it has received significant media coverage from across the country.

For the development of the Vegas Strip Steak®, Mata has been recognized by Fast Company Magazine as No. 44 on its list of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” for 2013.

“Restaurants are always looking for something original to put on the menu, and this is a product that is new and profitable,” Graves said.

More information about the Vegas Strip Steak® and the discovery efforts can be found atwww.vegasstripsteak.com.

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