Carcase meat losing its role as a meal centre in the form of a traditional cut or joint and instead becoming a food industry raw material is a well established trend now recognised even by many livestock producers, but the changes of use still have implications puzzling for market analysts. For instance, the increasing proportion of carcase beef purchased as mince is in part a reflection of a demand shift in the opposite direction. At least some of the buyers are deliberately forgoing the convenience of steaks and roasts, choosing instead to undertake the quite complicated preparation and cooking tasks which the pressures of modern lifestyles and the cost effective services of the food manufacturing industry were supposed to have banished from the domestic kitchen. The lower price of mince is not an adequate explanation, as the continuing demand for premium ground beef demonstrates. Latest data from Taylor Nelson Sofres show mince accounting for more than 42% of carcase beef sales, up from 40.3% a year ago, while the shares of roasting joints and steaks have diminished slightly. However, the faster decline in the share of stewing beef despite both its price advantage and suitability for flavoursome dishes illustrates the complexity of demand. {{MEAT }}

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