In a market where beef consumption is on the rise, Chileans' favorite cuts are ideal for the grill.
Carnivore or vegetarian? There is no doubt that Chileans like meat and this is demonstrated by various figures in the industry. Beef consumption in our country has experienced a constant increase since the 1980s until today, according to data from the Chilean Meat Association (ACHIC).
So far in 2020, these figures are still in that direction. During the first two months of the year, production has increased by 11.1%, according to the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (ODEPA). Another example of the high consumption of meat is given by imports. According to the last Beef Bulletin of this entity, the volume imported in the first quarter was around 55 tons, 11% more than the previous year.
But what are the preferred cuts of meat for Chileans? "In the case of Chile, the barbecue plays a very important role at the time of purchase. It's almost a must for any gathering of friends or to celebrate a special event and in that context the favorites are those meats that are ideal for the grill," comments Fabio Leone, commercial manager of Athena Foods.
A recent study by Cadem, showed that the favorite cuts of the Chileans are the following:
- Rib eye (or cube roll): 62% of respondents choose it as their favorite. Elongated, thick, rectangular cut with a main fat streak and many small fat branches. It is common to find it in pieces ranging from 1 to 2.5 kilos, but in recent years smaller versions have been introduced in steaks, between 200 and 500 grams.
- Short loin (or striploin): is preferred by 40% of Chileans. Located in the dorsal region, it is a soft cut of rectangular shape, thick and elongated, with a thick layer of fat on its upper face, and at the same time without nerves.
- Butcher's Roast (or chuck cover): ranks third, with 36% of preferences. It is an elongated, flat and fibrous cut, so it has nerves inside; low cost; besides the grill, it is ideal for the oven and the frying pan.
- Rib top (or ribs roast): closes the list, with 32% of the preferences. It is rectangular in shape, low in fat and semi-soft. This makes it very versatile for various preparations on the grill, pot and oven.
Athena Foods, a Chilean company responsible for more than 30% of the meat consumed in the country and leader in the market of meat exports from South America to the rest of the planet, has a large portfolio of meat products imported from its production plants located in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay, offering high-level products with internationally recognized brands.