Determining the optimum beef longissimus muscle size for retail consumers

K. K. Sweeter, D. M. Wulf, R. J. Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Research was conducted in two phases to determine the optimum beef LM size for retail consumers. In Phase I, 50 USDA Choice beef carcass sides were selected at a commercial packing plant and as-signed to five different categories (10 sides per category) based on LM size: 61 to 68 cm2 (A), 70 to 78 cm2 (B), 80 to 90 cm2 (C), 92 to 103 cm 2 (D), and 105 to 119 cm2 (E). Ribeye rolls were retrieved from all carcass sides. Steaks (2.5-cm thick; 14 per ribeye roll) were cut as needed and transported in groups of 35 steaks (seven per LM size category) to a retail grocery store in Brookings, SD, where they were placed into a designated section of the retail meat case. Steaks were tallied every 4 h on weekdays and every 2 h on weekends and holidays to determine the number of monitoring periods that each steak remained in the retail case. Steaks that did not sell within an allotted time were removed from the case and termed "pulled." Time in case and percentage of steaks pulled from the case did not differ among LM size categories (P > 0.16). Quadratic regression indicated that larger LM steaks sold faster (P < 0.05) than average and small LM steaks. Steaks from rib locations 6 and 7 spent more (P < 0.05) time in the case than steaks from rib locations 8 through 12. Steaks from the 7th rib location were more (P < 0.05) likely to be pulled than steaks from the 8th through 12th rib locations. In Phase II, 15 USDA Choice ribeye rolls were selected from a commercial packing plant to represent two LM size categories: 80 to 90 cm2 (AVG; n = 5); and 105 to 119 cm2 (LARGE; n = 10) and cut into 2.5-cm-thick steaks. A portion of the LARGE steaks was subsequently cut in half (HALF). Four display steaks represented each treatment group in each of five random nth price auctions. Seventy-five people were recruited from the Brookings, SD area to participate in the auctions to determine their willingness to pay for the three different types of ribeye steak. Consumers were willing to pay a premium of $1.50/kg for LARGE ribeye steaks over AVG ribeye steaks (P < 0.05). Consumers discounted HALF ribeye steaks by $1.01/kg compared with AVG ribeye steaks (P < 0.05). In conclusion, no optimum LM size existed for beef retail consumers; however, a trend existed toward greater demand for larger LM sizes over smaller LM sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2598-2604
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Beef
  • Consumer
  • Longissimus Muscle
  • Portion Size
  • Retail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Determining the optimum beef longissimus muscle size for retail consumers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this