Bulk Meat Boxes Reap 33% in Pure Profits

Sep 17, 2019


Store: Lee’s IGA
Location: Brooksville, KY
Owners: Phyllis Kelsch
Manager: Harold Turner


We have a fair number of shoppers utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and I knew I was losing sales to Kroger and Walmart because of low prices. So, we wanted to offer something unique that shoppers couldn’t find at our competitors’ stores. The solution was a monthly bulk meat sale on select quality cuts of meat, timed to coincide with when people get their SNAP benefits

How it Works

People get their SNAP benefits anytime from the first of the month until about the 17th, so we run a bulk meat sale every month for 10 days.

I pick certain meats and make up boxes of them that are stored in our cooler until people pick them up so we’re not taking up any space in our meat case.


It might be five pounds of ground beef, five pounds of boneless chicken breast, five pounds of boneless pork chops, and six 8 oz. strip steaks all for $56. I always include ground beef and boneless chicken breast, otherwise I mix it up—hot dogs or hamburger patties in the summer, chuck roast in winter. And whatever I can get at a good cost. Our gross profit is 30 percent or better on the boxes.

Why it Works

For Our Shoppers

Good buy for budget-conscious consumers. They get better pricing and quality than they would get at Walmart. They look forward to it every month, asking, “When’s the next meat box sale?”

Flexibility. Customers can repack and freeze the meats.

For Our Store

Boosts profits. We consistently make over 30 percent gross profit on the boxes.

Cuts down on packaging and labor. We save and re-purpose boxes from deliveries. Not packing each cut individually also takes less time.

Expands sales without taking up space. Our meat department only has one 12-foot triple deck meat case. These boxed meat sales allow us to expand our offerings without taking up valuable space in our case.


Have customers pre-order. We let customers know the dates of the sale and they pre-order. That way you don’t have a loss. We use printed order forms so that customers don’t have to write it out by hand. They also can call our meat department to order over the phone.

Promote the sale in-store and on social media. At first we used the local paper. Now we use flyers in-store up front and a bulletin board in the meat department. We also advertise it on a billboard on our parking lot and on our Facebook page.

Vary the monthly sale price. Our meat boxes run from $50 to $80, making it affordable to everyone.

Pro Tips

Start in warm weather. We do better in the summer months when more people are grilling outside. We sell 30 to 40 boxes. In winter, from November to March, we sell 15 to 20 boxes.

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