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The View From Here | August 2013

It is official. I have become my father.

I knew the inevitable would happen sooner or later. There have been signs for years—not caring what I looked like when I ran into Walmart for a couple things; uttering the phrase, “because I told you so;” going to bed before dark and waking up without an alarm before daylight; and not being able to understand the words to the music my kids listen to.

But the final straw came today in an article I was reading. It is proof positive I have completely lost touch with the younger generation.

The article by Nevil Speer was titled, “Industry at a Glance: Millennial Parents—Chicken vs. Beef.”

The article talked about findings based on recent research funded by the national beef checkoff. The research indicates that millennial parents (those born between 1980 and 2000) find cooking beef cumbersome and difficult. No real surprise there. I know several people who think making Kraft macaroni and cheese in a pot instead of the microwave makes them worthy of their own cooking show.

According to the research, the first two reasons millennial parents prefer chicken over beef is that 1.) chicken can be prepared in a wide variety of ways; and 2.) chicken is easy to prepare.

Again, while I don’t totally agree, I certainly am not surprised by those reasons. It is the third reason that caused me to almost fall out of my chair.

Fifty-seven percent of millennial parents said their children preferred the taste of chicken over beef.

Do What? Come Again!

I literally cannot comprehend that statement. I can draw no logical explanation for why those children prefer the taste of chicken over beef. Which, by default, makes me an old fart.

For years the beef industry has attempted to address concerns 1 and 2 listed above. Just recently, new meat labels were released for pork and beef cuts in hopes of boosting sales by making shopping easier for consumers. The updated labels feature three lines including the new name, the description of that cut and the best cooking methods. At the time I first heard of the renaming strategy I thought kudos to the industry for addressing items 1 and 2 listed above.

But now, after reading that 57 percent of today’s youth prefer the taste of chicken over beef, it is obvious to me that it is going to take more than new meat labels to change the eating habits of the younger generation.

I wonder if Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus would be willing to write a new song and dance titled, “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner?”

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