Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published in 2003 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Case-ready beef products have grown at a tremendous rate since the early large scale introductions in the mid 1990’s. Estimates exceed 9 billion pieces in the near future, up from 500 million in 1997 and 1.2 billion in 2000. The key producers of case-ready beef products are fresh-meat processors and retailer co-packers and the list continues to grow rapidly. Justification for producers and consumers includes better-in-stock at retail or less out-of-stock on a 24-hour basis, labor availability at retail level, less shrink, greater cost savings, and most importantly consumer satisfaction, consistency, tenderness, juiciness and improved food safety.