I cooked goulash last weekend and the recipe called for chuck steak. Hmm. Now, I know my sirloin from my rump and fillet, but my knowledge of individual cuts of meat doesn’t stretch much further than that. Still, I knew that the recipe called for slow cooking over a long period so I went in search of, what I knew as, braising steak.
Unfortunately our local butcher has recently retired so I had to turn to the supermarket shelves. Here I was faced with endless packs of meat all simply bearing the label ‘cubed beef’. They were helpfully under a banner marked ‘casseroles’…so I knew I was in roughly the right place. I tried, through a process of price comparison, (logically braising steak would be more expensive than stewing steak so I thought) to find what I wanted, but that all fell apart when I realised that the English beef was more expensive than the Irish (or was it the other way around?). The organic beef was the cheapest of all which totally blew my theory out of the water!
I finally plumped for a nice looking pack of lean meat which simply said ‘beef’ but went away feeling disgruntled that the decision had taken so long. I felt somewhat patronised too and wondered if I was just simply out of date with the language of meat.
In my view, the supermarket had gone too far in their effort to simplify the buying process for the consumer; so far in fact, that they had actually made it more complicated…for some of us at least.
It’s not an easy one for us marketers; customers don’t all use the same terminology and language clearly changes over time. What is important is to put yourself in your customers shoes, keep it simple without assuming your customers are all stupid and test your messages to make sure they really make sense to your target audience.
What is the difference between and stew and a casserole by the way?