Thousands of steps, filling dozens of glasses, delivering as many hot meals. Many smiles and “thank yous” and “you bets.” In high school and college, this is what 60 minutes of being a waitress looked like for me.

I liked that job, but it was work. An hour—especially during a supper rush—was exhausting. The combination of people skills, multitasking and physical work it demanded could be downright hard.

Anytime I wanted to buy a pair of jeans or a concert ticket, my mom reminded me of that. She taught me to temper my “wants” by asking myself, “Is it worth the X hours of work I’ll have to put in to pay for it?”

Perhaps today’s consumer isn’t doing this as they weigh how much beef costs. But if they are, chances are they’ll find a number like 12 or 15.

According to CattleFax’s Randy Blach, the average consumer has to work 12 to 15 minutes to pay for a pound of Choice beef. That’s down from more than 30 minutes in the ’70s and ’80s.

Blach slide1

The senior market analyst says that helps explain why we continue to sell high-quality beef, even when prices rose so sharply the past few years.

“Sometimes we all get more worried about those price points than maybe the consumer does,” Randy said at our annual conference in September.

Blach at AC2Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand sales continued to rise, even as prices did, too. In short, beef-eaters calculated (either subconsciously or through quick math) what the product costs them, and they are saying it’s worth it.


“We’re producing the highest quality product that we have in decades,” Randy says. “Why do we see these millennials coming back to meat, coming back to beef? Because it’s good.”

The trends look positive, too.

“The millennials want more high-quality protein in their diets,” Randy says. “That’s an opportunity for each and every one of us.”

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,


PS–Have you been following along? We think “Every number has a story”:

Day one: $6.93

Day two: 2.5 million

Day three: $204.10

Day four: 12.1 million

Day five: 11/13

Day six: 8 million

Day seven: 139

Day eight: $39

Day nine: 30.1%

Day 10: 120 million

Day 11: -2.26

Day 12: 12 to 15 minutes 

Day 13: 30%

Day 14: 32 million

Day 15: $154,000