Retailer Gears Up for St. Pat's With New Corned Beef

BERKELEY, Calif. — Grocery Outlet is setting its cases for Saint Patrick's Day with just one brand of corned beef this year a revitalized Reuben brand. Usually the 150-unit discount grocer offers more than one brand, but officials told SN that since they took on the Reuben brand last fall, they've decided to stick with it. The red packaging makes it stand out well in the meat case. It's the color, and

BERKELEY, Calif. — [4] Grocery Outlet [4] is setting its cases for Saint Patrick's Day with just one brand of corned beef this year — a revitalized Reuben brand.

Usually the 150-unit discount grocer offers more than one brand, but officials told SN that since they took on the Reuben brand last fall, they've decided to stick with it.

“The red packaging makes it stand out well in the meat case. It's the color, and then the detail on the package shows the product cooked, which is very appealing,” Steve Keville, Grocery Outlet's fresh meat buyer, said. “I think the picture on the package, showing a suggested way to serve the product, attracts people's attention.”

Officials have been happy with sales.

“It has done very well for us. We plan to carry it year-round since it has proved itself over the last six months,” Keville said.

For Saint Patrick's Day week, Keville, like other retailers, expects his sales of corned beef to triple. Grocery Outlet, depending on the size of the store, will devote 2 or 4 feet in its meat cases for the product.

“Reuben corned beef has been around for a while, but the rebranding with the new package makes it more appealing,” Keville said. “It's also the right size — 2 to 3 pounds max. Just enough for a family of four.”

Grocery Outlet's stores, sized 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, are in an area where 70% of households have mid-to-lower level incomes.

Competition in the company's market areas includes Winco and Wal-Marts Supercenters, but Keville said his company has managed OK through the recession.

“In times like these, customers start to watch their pennies. So, we, as an everyday discount retailer, may have gained some customers.”

According to its officials, Tyson Fresh Meats, Dakota Dunes, S.D., rebranded the Reuben line with the aim of increasing sales throughout the year.

The packaging revamp is based on results of consumer research that identifies what shoppers look for when selecting corned beef in the meat case, Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing, Tyson Fresh Meats, said in a statement to the press.

The Reuben brand products are sold as eye of round, classic flat cut and point cut brisket.