You have to accept all the “big issues” facing Australia's cattle and beef industry.
That’s the key message from Coles supermarket meat business manager Chris Nicklin during QCL’s Food Heroes forum on Friday.
“The biggest challenge is accepting and addressing all the big red meat industry issues raised, not just the easy ones,” Mr Nicklin said.
“That is what defines a true customer driven business.”
According to Mr Nicklin the most important person in our cattle and beef industry is the red meat consumer.
As one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains with 770 stores across Australia, Mr Nicklin said Coles takes knowing their shopping consumers very seriously.
“Our meat business is vertically integrated with our Coles beef livestock team dealing with over 400 farmers nationally,” he said.
“Through our partnership with Australian Country Choice we procure and process around half of our weekly beef requirements from the state of Queensland.
“Our five State based livestock buyers procure and process the remaining numbers through Brooklyn in Victoria, Harvey in Western Australia, Scone in New South Wales, and Longford in Tasmania.”
Mr Nicklin said the latest consumer research by Coles showed shoppers want consistent quality, Australian grown, price competitive, clean looking, and no hormone growth promotant supermarket beef.
“Currently, the price of beef is the number one priority for customers,” he said.
“We have found that red meat price specials and trusted everyday prices are very important.”
Consumer research also shows succulent beef with good eating quality is a big winner with red meat eaters.
“Animal welfare is also just as important to beef consumers, plus the on-shelf appeal of beef packaging,” Mr Nicklin said.
“Many beef buyers here in Australia also want a good selection of packaging and portion sizes.
“Coles is a customer driven business and we take shoppers wants and needs to drive back down our supply chain, so customer insights are the life blood.”
Coles conducts 22,000 shopper satisfaction surveys each week, which gives the company daily feedback from customers about the satisfaction with the supermarket’s meat pricing, quality, range and availability.
“The $150 shop, where Coles directors, general managers, and company category managers go on a shopping mission to buy all the weekly requirements for a family of four,” Mr Nicklin said.
“Customers who actually have a $150 shopping budget every week then score the Coles team on how they did.
“We track our performance across the market in terms of our brand perceptions on pricing, quality, service and also in the market with regard to our performance relative to other retailers.”