Niche Meat Marketplace
Lorentz Meats has grown by serving the niche meat industry. Our focus is on supporting quality proteins. We are not interested in participating in making the cheapest food possible; our goal is to be part of a thoughtful food chain, taking into consideration the animals, the land, the product and the consumers.
Niche meats can generally refer to any non-commodity meat, but most often implies naturally or organically produced products. Although the niche meat segment has been steadily increasing in the last decade, it is still a tiny percentage of the total market. This means that niche producers must comply with the practices, regulations and market demands created by and for producers with much greater capacity and resources.
The distinction between the two market segments is in the method of production. As a niche meat processor, it is not our place to extoll the virtues of one production method over another; rather, it is our goal to respect the work, passion and intent that our customers have dedicated to their product. Further, we strive to partner with our customers in strengthening their position in the marketplace, whether that is selling quarters to their friends and neighbors or securing a SKU in a national retailer. We work hard to center ourselves for the conversation of how the challenges we and our partners face can best be addressed. Our experience has shown the greatest success with those whose values overlap ours.
For us, the heart of niche meats lies in sustainability. When working towards the ideals surrounding that word “Sustainable”, we keep a solid grasp on our current realities. Our definition of sustainability encompasses the animals, the environment, our employees, our community, our partners and our business. Our efforts balance among these aspects because we need each to survive and thrive in order to continue improving, seeking a better way.
Consumers and Direct Marketers:
To help you with your buying decisions, please see this publication published by Iowa State University Extension, written by Arion Thiboumery and Kristine Jepsen.
For information on direct marketing, please see this publication written by Mike Lorentz and Arion Thiboumery, published by Iowa State University Extension.
Direct Marketers and Branded Programs:
To learn more about the challenges of niche meat production and help position yourself, please see this publication written by Lauren Gwin, Arion Thiboumery and Richard Stillman, featuring Lorentz Meats as a case study.
And then contact us to see how we can further help you.
Another useful group is the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (http://www.nichemeatprocessing.org/). This site was co-founded by Lauren Gwin and Arion Thiboumery to consolidate niche meat producers’ and processors’ experiences.
Consumers, Direct Marketers and Branded Programs: For all interested in local food movements, please see this study conducted by the Wallace Center, featuring Lorentz Meats as a case study.
The portal to contact will depend on the size and recipient of your processing. This link will help direct you to the staff member who can best serve you.
This link will help prepare you for preliminary conversations with our staff as you look to create or grow your product line.
Here you will find our perspective on the niche meat market, useful tips on entering the market and links to help you grow within the market.