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MSNBC reports that while “the market for natural and organic beef accounts for less than 1 percent of overall U.S. beef production, (it) is growing at about 20 percent annually, while overall beef production of 24.6 billion pounds this year is down from 25.1 billion in 1995, according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.”

The reason? According to analysts, it is public concern about mad cow disease, the broader success of natural foods stores, and an increased desire to know where the food that Americans are putting in their mouths comes from.

Two events that heralded increased interest in natural beef, according to MSNBC, include the decision by some mainstream retailers to carry natural and organic beef at the very least as an alternative to traditional beef products, and the decision by Burgerville, a Pacific Northwest fast food chain, to sell only natural and organic beef in its stores. This was a move consistent with the company’s broader approach; it is committed to using locally produced and sustainable foods whenever possible.
KC's View:
We believe that retailers that decide to offer natural beef generally have to do a better job of selling it. It simply isn’t enough to put the meat out, throw up a few signs and assume that people will understand the value. Strong informational/educational efforts have to be made…and, especially when priced right, we believe that this trend toward natural beef will only continue.