Wholesale Meat: The Ultimate Guide For Meat Wholesale

By
Nicole Georgiev
Table of Contents
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    Buying wholesale is something that many restaurants take advantage of. It’s a way for them to purchase their food products cheaper and make a larger profit margin in the end. As a buyer, you might be asking yourself, “Where can I buy wholesale meat?”

    It’s a common question as many restaurants and individuals seek out high quality meat on a regular basis. We’ve already covered wholesale seafood online and now this is your complete guide to wholesale meat. Keep reading to learn how to run a wholesale business and how to run a wholesale distribution business of this kind.

    Download link to wholesale meat and seafood eBook

    What Is Wholesale?

    The wholesale definition is a term that is used when referring to two business models. Businesses buy goods in bulk quantities straight from manufacturers. They warehouse the products and resell them. You can explore how to find wholesalers online.

    B2B wholesale can also pertain to businesses that produce their own products and later sell them straight to retailers. The retailers will then sell the products to the end-user. 

    Pros of Wholesale

    Purchasing and selling wholesale comes with a lot of benefits. Here are some to consider: 

    Save Money

    When you purchase products in bulk, you can save money. This is because wholesalers oftentimes offer discounts for large orders. You’ll have the opportunity to get your products for less and end up selling them for more. You can get ahead of your competitors based on your initial investment. 

    Build a Network of Suppliers

    It’s crucial for those involved in wholesale purchases to have a good and reliable network of suppliers and manufacturers. The deliveries should be on time, the products are of a high standard, and your relationships should be honored. Building a network of bulk meat suppliers is what will help your business run smoothly.

    In terms of meat, wholesale cuts are shipped from packing plants to the consumer. The consumer is then able to process the meat into smaller cuts as desired. Supplier relationships should be well maintained and positive so that you can have an established and sustainable brand. 

    Opportunity to Become an Expert

    By researching and selling your products, you can become an expert in the field. Regardless of the kind of wholesale items you’re selling, you can gain knowledge and establish trust with your customers. This knowledge can entice more people to trust and shop from you. 

    Expand Easily

    As a wholesaler, you’ll start to see connections that you’ve established with other markets after you’ve made a foothold in your industry. The connections you make can generate upselling (see upsell meaning) and cross selling opportunities. These can result in business gain and success. Expanding this way can be simple since you’ll already have established relationships. New ventures will be simple and quick to set up. 

    What Is Meat Wholesale?

    Wholesale meat products are popular in the food industry, and are also part of 2022 food trends. Animals are processed into both wholesale and primal cuts. The wholesale cuts of meat are often broken into retail and/or subprimal cuts. Below are some examples.

    Beef Example

    • The wholesale or primal cut: chuck meat
    • Retail cut: blade steak
    • Subprimal cut: blade

    Pork Example

    • The wholesale or primal cut: lion
    • Retail cut: loin chops
    • Subprimal cut: tenderloin

    Cuts of Beef

    There are different cuts of beef that can be sold wholesale or as part of a wholesale package. Here are some of their values: 

    Wholesale or Primal Value

    • High Value: rib, loin, rump, round
    • Low value: brisket, navel, chuck, shank, flank, plate

    Retail Value

    • High Value: rump from the rump, sirloin from the loin, tenderloin from the loin, ribeye from the rib, t-bone from the loin
    • Low Value: ground beef, stew beef, brisket, cubed steak

    Cuts of Pork

    Wholesale or Primal Value

    • High Value: leg, loin, ham, shoulder, Boston shoulder, picnic shoulder, butt
    • Low Value: belly, back fat, spareribs, bacon, side, jowl, feet

    Retail

    • High Value: loin, ham from leg, Boston butt from the shoulder, pork chops from the loin, picnic from shoulder
    • Low Value: spareribs, bacon, hocks, belly, jowl, fatback

    Cuts of Poultry

    Unlike beef and pork, poultry cuts are not classified into retail or wholesale cuts. This is because the size of the carcass is smaller. However, the USDA has set standards for chicken and turkey that are “ready to cook” regardless of how they’re sold. Poultry parts can include tenderloin, poultry halves, breast, drumstick, leg thigh, wing.

    Free range poultry is a great option for those who want the healthiest, most humanely raised meat. Free range poultry has access to the outdoors and is able to roam freely, resulting in a more active lifestyle. This type of poultry tends to be leaner and have more flavor than its conventionally raised counterpart. When shopping for free range poultry in the grocery store, look for labels that say " free range," "pasture raised," or "cage free."

    Where Can I Buy Wholesale Meat?

    There are many bulk meat suppliers out there that can deliver meat to buyers as often as needed. These buyers can include individuals or restaurants. The buyers will simply place their orders online and schedule delivery days accordingly. When the meat is purchased wholesale, buyers will be able to save money and get quality products. 

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    Bulk Meat Suppliers

    Restaurants can approach food manufacturers and local farmers in regard to buying meat in bulk. Farms can often supply restaurants with fresh meat as often as needed. 

    In terms of wholesale meat and seafood distributors, there are plenty of them that can be found online. Websites for the North American Meat Institute and Manta.com have large directories of suppliers. 

    Most restaurants will purchase their food supplies from wholesale distributors. This is because they’ll likely deliver the products right to the restaurant. The distributors can be a local meat supplier or a large purveyor such as US Foods or Sysco. 

    Some supplies can also be purchased by restaurants at local farmer’s markets. However, practically all restaurants will have a long-term and continuous relationship with their main supplier. 

    Fells Point Wholesale Meats

    Fells Point Wholesale Meats is a meat distributor based in Baltimore, MD that uses BlueCart’s wholesale platform. They focus on quality, consistency, and service. FPW Meats distributes USDA meat, lamb, poultry, and pork products. All of their meat products must live up to their specific and exact standards. They have a high level of knowledge about the meat industry and ensure their quality of their products.

    Columbia Empire Meats

    Another meat distributor that restaurants buy their meat from is Columbia Empire Meats. They work with BlueCart to distribute their meat products including beef, pork, and more. Based in Downtown Portland, Columbia Empire Meats ensures the finest meat products and strives to deliver unmatched customer service. 

    Premier Meat Company

    Premier Meat Company is a family-owned business that is committed to quality and service. They don’t just serve wholesale meat buyers, they’re also focused on giving their clients the best company experience from start to finish. Premier Meat Company utilizes the BlueCart platform to offer meat products that are humanely raised on sustainable and natural farms. 

    Meat Distribution Platform

    It’s likely that restaurants want to make their inventory ordering process simpler. With that being said, they’ll likely look for a reliable meat distribution platform. 

    BlueCart makes it easy to update the prices of your wholesale meat products. This can be done on a daily or weekly basis. Since prices can fluctuate, this is a key feature for meat wholesale distributors. BlueCart also offers custom catalogs for clusters of restaurants, so they can have different pricing levels. 

    How Do I Pick a Meat Supplier?

    There are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing a meat supplier. Food safety is always paramount, so make sure you find a supplier that adheres to strict food safety standards.

    If you're looking for grass fed meat, be sure to ask about the feeding and grazing practices of the animals. It’s crucial for you to first determine your needs.  Ask yourself the following questions:

    • What types of meat do you need?
    • What are the meat quantities you desire? 
    • How often will you need products delivered?

    Once you have the answers to the questions above, you can look at the distributors in your area. The International Foodservice Distributors Association has a map on its website of all of its members. This can be a good place to start. 

    After you’ve explored your options, it’s time to compare. Compare the prices, meat qualities, delivery schedules, and other factors that might impact your business. A lot of restaurants choose to open accounts with their distributors based on their supply needs. It’s common for restaurants that choose to purchase directly from farmer's markets or farms to have more vendor options. 

    Is There a Perfect Option?

    If you’re questioning if there is a perfect meat supplier out there, it's likely that there isn’t. Every restaurant makes its own choice of where to get its meat. It’s not a good idea to judge restaurants based on where they source their meats from. 

    Download link to wholesale meat and seafood eBook

    The Bottom Line

    The restaurant industry commonly works with products that are very perishable. This creates a need to have a plan in place in order to continuously resupply your business. Once you assess your supply needs and meet with company sales representatives, you can accurately replenish all of your types of inventory

    If you’re having a hard time keeping track of your vendors, orders, and inventory, you might question whether you’re using the right system. BlueCart offers various wholesale options including mobile ordering, fulfillment, and payment processing platforms. 

    Schedule a demo now for a walkthrough of BlueCart to see how it can take your wholesale, eCommerce, or subscription business to the next level.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Wholesale Meat

    What Is a Meat Wholesaler?

    A meat wholesaler is a company that sells meat products in bulk to retail businesses. Wholesalers usually buy their meat from farmers or slaughterhouses, then package and distribute it to grocery stores, restaurants, and other customers.

    What are the Variety Meats?

    The term "variety meats" refers to the organs and other parts of animals that are not typically considered as part of the regular meat cuts. These include items such as tongues, livers, brains, kidney, heart, and tripe. 

    Is It Cheaper to Get Meat From a Butcher?

    It can be cheaper to get meat from a butcher than from the grocery store, but it depends on a few factors. The type of meat, the cut, and the grade all affect the price.

    What's the Most Expensive Meat?

    Here is a look at some of the most costly meats money can buy:

    1. Kobe Beef
    2. Wagyu Beef
    3. Dry Aged Beef

    Is Pork Lamb?

    Pork and lamb are not the same meat, even though they are both red meats. Lamb comes from sheep and pork comes from pigs. They have different taste and texture, so you can't use one in place of the other without changing the recipe.

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