VEAL Veal processed from a calf, is a very important category. There can be a number of meal dishes on the menu. Color, texture and trimming are the important feature relating to quality and price per pound. Milk fed calves will be the better quality. Breaded portion will vary in the quality of the product and some will be processed with beef and pork. 

A processor will use veal slices, chunks or flakes and ground veal for breaded portions. Breading will vary in thickness. All these features account for varying prices. 

HAM/PORK Ham is processed into many sizes and shapes with various processing methods to prepare them for the marketplace. There are bone-in and boneless, processed in their own natural juice or pumped (injected) with water and added ingredients. The more they are pumped, the more it affects the texture, color and flavor as well as shrinkage when cooking. 

Pork spareribs are processed with different weights, trim and waste. Which one do you present? 

Learning all the details and benefits derived for specific use at each account is the question and answer just as we have discussed earlier with beef. If a well-priced popular ham dinner is featured on a menu, the better grade (trimmed and processed in its own juice) will be your best presentation. The natural flavor and reduced waste will generate repeat business and profit for your account. 

CHICKEN Chicken parts for foodservice, whether fresh or frozen, cooked or uncooked by the processor, will vary in quality and yield. Whole chickens have a lot of waste. The age and size of the bird will determine the use and tenderness. The amount of leaf fat (the yellowish colored waste on chicken parts) left on chicken parts by the processor will affect price per pound. 

The same is true with frozen parts that have been ice glazed during processing. This two or three pounds of ice in each box or bag of chicken parts is money down the drain. Parts pumped with water and added ingredients will cause more shrinking when cooked or heated, again relating to actual cost per pound. Flavor and texture are also affected by the additional ingredients. 

Just one sized portion of cooked or uncooked boneless chicken breast can be used for several menu dishes. This eliminates inventory carried by the customer – a welcome benefit. 

Breaded chicken portions are processed from solid white and/or dark meat, chunked, flaked or minced products. The amount and style of breading will determine its cost per piece as well as the type of meat ingredient. 

TURKEY Turkey products, such as the popular cooked whole turkey breast, vary in quality and description whether frozen or not. They are cooked using different methods by the processor and shipped either fresh or frozen. 

Some are processed in their own natural juice and some are pumped more than others are and that affects the color and texture. They are formed using three or more breast pieces, while others are formed with chunks. 

What are they used for and what are the benefits? Type of operator, menu use and menu price will determine the answer. If the customer is using a cooked turkey breast for a featured turkey dinner, the best quality (cooked in its own juice) will be your best presentation. 

SEAFOOD Seafood inventoried by a distributor is a huge and varied category. Shelf life is a critical point with this product line. Seafood is delicate and has a high water content. Contaminating factors can affect shelf like of unfrozen product. For example, fresh fish must be used within a few days or it will spoil. Frozen product will diminish in texture and quality if help too long or has been frozen twice. 

Seafood products frozen and processed on a boat at sea are the highest quality. Bringing it to port to process adversely affects freshness and quality. Ice glaze on products processed will affect price per pound and yield. Knowing if from warm or cold water, salt or fresh water will be part of your seafood knowledge. 

A portioned fish product will be marketed as skin-on or skinless, bone in or boneless. Some of your operator-customers will further process the portion when they receive it. Others will prepare to cook a fish portion as it comes from the box. Type of product prepared by the customer will vary in different areas of the country. 

When deep frying, pan frying, baking, broiling or poaching delicate seafood products, the best quality is critical for tenderness and taste. If a customer asks for a bone-in seafood product, it is important to discuss product liability during your presentation. This is for your customer’s benefit as well as your distributorship. 

Understanding your need for product information is a step toward your successful consulting presentations. Product guides and manuals should be close by all times. Each product carried by your distributorship has a story and characteristic that is influential in creating job opportunities to benefit the operator and close the sale. The customer’s trust in you and your consulting ability will result in solid business relationships.