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The general objective of this study was to evaluate the economics of alternative technologies, systems and methods of fabricating and marketing retail packaged beef. A national beef distribution model (VAL-ADD) was developed and used to compare the economics of various case-ready systems with the conventional system of fabricating beef in the back room of the retail store. The VAL-ADD model identifies beef price premiums and/or discounts by packaging system for each of 30 regional distribution routes within the contiguous United States. In addition it estimates the competitive advantage of regions in central packaging. The Central and Southern Plains areas have a competitive advantage in producing prepackaged retail beef and retailers with high labor costs have the greatest incentive to buy it.


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