Serving buffalo, as well as ostrich, bison and venison, is a healthy—and trendy—way to satisfy your customers’ red meat appetites.
By Joanna Pruess
Though premium cuts of richly marbled beef are still selling well in affluent markets, health-conscious, red-meat-craving customers are discovering tasty alternatives. Ariane Daguin, president of Newark, N.J.’s D’Artagnan, reports that consumers who have been exposed to buffalo or bison steaks are coming back for more because they are delicious and no longer seem exotic. Venison is getting more attention as well; rack of venison has become D’Artagnan’s bestseller.
As customers start to seek out these products, retailers can guide them with recipes for familiar, alternate meats such as sausages, chops or ground meat patties. Once they taste the flavor and know what to expect, sales are easier, Daguin notes. It is also important for customers to know how to cook these meats. Because they have so little internal fat, chops or steaks are best when cooked rare or medium-rare. For sausages, the links can be browned in a little fat and then gently finished in sauce or cooked through.