Omaha Steaks

Omaha Steaks
Type Privately held family business
Industry Retail
Founded 1917
Headquarters Omaha, Nebraska
Products Food
Revenue $450 million [1]

Omaha Steaks is a direct marketer of meat in the US,[2][3] who also market food seasonings, cookbooks and treats for pets.[4][5][6]

Founded in 1917, Omaha Steaks is a fifth-generation, privately held family business, and has grown from a single butchers shop in Omaha, Nebraska, to one of America’s largest marketers of beef. [2] Omaha Steaks also has affiliate companies, including World Port Seafood.



Omaha Steaks are shipped directly to customers packed in insulated coolers chilled with ice. [7] The company also operates retail stores, which carry the same products as offered through mail order. [2] The company uses a variety of marketing techniques, including mail order, telesales, telemarketing, retail sales and Internet-based sales. [6]

Besides its retail stores, food-service operation, catalogs and direct mail, Omaha Steaks also includes business-to-business gifts and incentives, special markets and a website. [2]

Omaha Steaks is the 25th largest employer in the city of Omaha [8] The company hires 2,500 seasonal employees, which more than double the company's permanent work force of about 1,800. [1]

Omaha Steaks is the largest small parcel direct shipper of gourmet foods in the US. Its 400-item product line generates revenue of about $450 million in annual sales [1]– a total of about 4 million packages a year. [9]

Bruce Simon is President and Chief Operating Officer of Omaha Steaks. [10] Todd Simon, responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s marketing programs and employee training initiatives, serves as senior vice president. [11]


The first two generations of the Simon family, J.J. Simon and his son, B.A., came to America to escape religious persecution. They arrived in 1898 and after passing through Ellis Island took a train west in search of a place to settle. They chose Omaha because it reminded them of the farmland they had left behind in Riga, Latvia. Experienced butchers, they worked for nearly 20 years for other people. [12]

Omaha Steaks was founded in 1917 as a cattle carcass operation at 17th and Douglas Streets and was operated by family founders J.J. and B.A. Simon. [2]

The Simonses bought an old carpentry store, Table Supply Co., as the site for their meat-cutting business. In an effort to save money, B.A. moved the two letters "Co" to the right, inserted the word "Meat" and called their new company Table Supply Meat Co. [2]

By 1924, the business moved to a larger building at 1211 Howard St., in the heart of the Old Market (Omaha, Nebraska), from which J.J. and B.A. began selling cuts of meat to local supermarkets and national chain grocery stores, as well as to hotel restaurants and institutional customers. [2]

B.A.’s son, Lester Simon, is credited with introducing Omaha Steaks across the US, when he brokered a deal with the Union Pacific Railroad to begin serving Omaha Steaks in the dining cars of their transcontinental trains in the 1940s. [12]

Lester Simon hand-selected the meat for the U.P. passenger trains that traveled between Omaha and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. [2] Train passengers who ordered Omaha Steaks in Union Pacific’s dining cars prompted the company to launch its first mail order ventures – magazine ads and direct mail flyers – in 1952. [13]

Lester Simon also began shifting Table Supply's focus from a butcher operation to the marketing of fine cuts of meat. [2]

In 1952, the first mail order operation was launched to serve distant customers. The meat was shipped in wax-lined cartons filled with dry ice. It was not until the early 1960s that insulated shipping containers made of polystyrene and vacuum packaging, became available.[13]

In 1961, Nebraska Governor Frank B. Morrison sent steaks from Table Supply to President John F. Kennedy and all of the governors in the United States. In that same year, Table Supply was honored to be involved in the Culinary Olympics held in Frankfurt, Germany, at which the United States team won the Grand Gold Prize with a dish that featured aged prime ribs of beef provided by Table Supply, thereby earning an international reputation for the Omaha company. [13]

In 1966, when the company moved into its southwest Omaha headquarters at 4400 S. 96th St., the Simon family changed the name from Table Supply Meat Co. to Omaha Steaks International. The company plant remains at that site. The corporate offices are now at 10909 John Galt Blvd. [2]

In the 1970s, Omaha Steaks added inbound and outbound call centers and a mail order industry-first toll-free customer service line. An automated order entry system was installed in 1987. [2][12]

Omaha Steaks opened its first retail store in Omaha in 1976 when buying a product from the company was limited to eating at certain restaurants that offered their products, or ordering meats from its mail-order catalog. [2]

Omaha Steaks underwent another expansion phase in the 1980s and 1990s, consolidating administration and marketing in two new buildings. [14] In 1985 the company ventured beyond Nebraska, opening a retail store in Houston. [13] Omaha Steaks now has more than 85 retail stores in 29 states. [2]

Another area where Omaha Steaks focused on growing was its corporate sales unit, which it began beefing up in the mid-1990s. Omaha Steaks created a separate corporate catalog that was intended to serve the corporate buyers who were already customers. The effort soon began to pay off for Omaha Steaks. In just two years, the company was able to grow its corporate sales by 50 percent. [15]

Electronic Marketing

Omaha Steaks entered electronic marketing in 1990. The company started offering steaks for sale on CompuServe in 1990, and launched in 1995. The website is the company’s fastest growing business segment. [14] The company became part of the Microsoft Network in 1998.[15] In 2011, Omaha Steaks launched a mobile website for Web-enabled mobile devices<ef name="seventeen">[34], Mobile Commerce Daily. Omaha Steaks debuts mobile site to drive sales among wider audience - Mobile Commerce Daily - Web site development, by Dan Butcher, April 5, 2011.</ref> and in 2011 launched the Steak Time applications for iPhone and iPad featuring and tips. [16]Steak Time for iPad features informational "Steak 101" section complete with how-to videos, tips, and recipes. [17]

Tailgating Trademark

In 2010, Omaha Steaks was granted a trademark for the phrase "The Official Sponsor of Tailgating." [18][19][20]

NFL Rookie of the Year (2010) Ndamukong Suh, a defensive tackle with the Detroit Lions, was named as a spokesman of tailgating for the official sponsor of tailgating, Omaha Steaks, in 2010. [20][21][22]

Popular Culture

Celebrating its 94th birthday in 2011, Omaha Steaks has been recognized on "Good Morning America," the "CBS Early Show," "Oprah," "The View," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "The Dr. Phil Show," "The Rachel Ray Show" and "Live with Regis and Kelly." [5]

Name- drops of the brand are found in films such as "DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story" and "Up in the Air." [5]

'Celebrity Apprentice'

In 2011, Omaha Steaks was featured on "Celebrity Apprentice," an NBC reality series starring Donald Trump. Promoted as "Crazy Good," the fourth season of the show featured a cast of celebrities who battled it out for their favorite charities and ultimately compete to become the next Celebrity Apprentice. [23] The episode garnered more than 8.09 million total viewers.[24]


In 1997 Fred Simon published "The Steak Lover’s Companion," a cookbook co-authored with John Harrisson and Mark Kiffen. It adapted dishes from recipes developed by James Beard, who had been a consultant for many years. [25][26]. Another, "Beef For All Seasons," was published the following year. [27][28] They also teamed for "Let's Grill" (2000) [29][30] and "Meat" (2001). [31] In 2000, "Omaha Steaks Good Life Cookbook" was released. [32] The "Great Gathering Guide & Cookbook" was released in 2006. It offers basic cooking instructions for The company's products. [33] In 2008, Time Inc. Home Entertainment published "Omaha Steaks : The Great American Grilling Book." [34]

Similar companies

Other companies in the US offering similar product ranegs are Cargill Meat Solutions and Kansas City Steak Company.


  1. ^ a b c [1], Omaha World-Herald. Omaha Steaks seeks seasonal hires - By Pat Waters, October 14, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m [2], Omaha World-Herald. 5 Generations Have Kept the Sizzle in Omaha Steaks - Science News by Deborah Alexander, May 16, 2006. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.
  3. ^ [3], CNBC Big IdeaOmaha Steaks on CNBC "The Big Idea" 12/5/06 - YouTube
  4. ^ [4], Florida Sun Sentinel. Prime Time - Sun Sentinel by David Wartowski, June 22, 1994.
  5. ^ a b c [5], NY Resident. 196200 - Binder1.pdf Page 1 August, 2011
  6. ^ a b [6], Business Week. Omaha Steaks International, Inc.: Private Company Information - BusinessWeek.
  7. ^ [7], MH&L News. Peak Seasoning at Omaha Steaks By David Drickhamer, December 12, 2006.
  8. ^ [8], Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
  9. ^ [9], Specialized Logistics for a Longer Perishable Supply Chain, November 1, 2005.
  10. ^ [10], Bloomberg Businessweek. Bruce Simon: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek.
  11. ^ [11], Business Week. Todd Simon: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek.
  12. ^ a b c [12], Omaha Steaks International Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Omaha Steaks International Inc.
  13. ^ a b c d [13], Omaha Steaks International Inc. Business Information, Profile, and History - Company, Supply, Table, Customers, Beef, and Name.
  14. ^ a b [14], The Jewish Press. This Version of Simon Says Positions Omaha Steaks as a Food Service Juggernaut « Leo Adam Biga's Blog.
  15. ^ a b [15], Omaha Steaks International Inc. -- Company History.
  16. ^ [16], Omaha Steaks Steak Time for Android |
  17. ^ [17], Omaha Steaks Launches Steak Time App for iPad | Food and Beverage Close - Up | Find Articles at BNET, March 22. 2011.
  18. ^ [18], SPONSOR OF TAILGATING - Reviews & Brand Information - OMAHA STEAKS INTERNATIONAL, INC. Omaha, NE - Serial Number: 85319086.
  19. ^ [}, Highbeam Business. USPTO ISSUES TRADEMARK: OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF TAILGATING | HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared.
  20. ^ a b [19], Reuters. Omaha Steaks, The Official Sponsor of Tailgating™, Congratulates Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh | Reuters, February 3, 2011.
  21. ^ [20], Lincoln Journal-Star. Sept. 15, 2010. Ndamukong Suh becomes spokesman for Omaha Steaks.
  22. ^ [21], Sports Business Digest. Sept. 15, 2010. Ndamukong Suh, the new spokesperson for Omaha Steaks : Sports Business Digest.
  23. ^ [22], Reuters. Omaha Steaks Joins The Celebrity Apprentice for the New Season | Reuters, February 24, 2011.
  24. ^ [23], PGM » Omaha Steaks Debuts on The Celebrity Apprentice.
  25. ^ [24], STEAKLOVERS COMPANION (9780060187811): Frederick J. Simon: Books.
  26. ^ [25], Omaha Steaks Steaklover's Companion, The at
  27. ^ [26], Beef For All Seasons by Simon, Frederick J. and Harrisson, John at
  28. ^ [27], Beef For All Seasons.
  29. ^ [28], Omaha Steaks: Let's Grill by John Harrisson, Frederick J Simon, Chris Schlesinger (Foreword by) (Used, New, Out-of-Print) - Alibris.
  30. ^ [29], Omaha Steaks: Let's Grill (9780609607763): John Harrisson: Books.
  31. ^ [30], Omaha Steaks Meat (9780609607770): John Harrisson, Frederick J. Simon: Books.
  32. ^ [31], Omaha Steaks Good Life Guide Cookbook, Omaha Steaks. (Paperback ) Used Book available for Swap.
  33. ^ [32], Omaha Steaks Meat (9780609607770): John Harrisson, Frederick J. Simon: Books.
  34. ^ [33], Barnesand BARNES & NOBLE | Omaha Steaks: The Great American Grilling Book by Incorporated Home Entertainment Time | Hardcover.

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