Catch Weight Management and the Food Industry

Catch Weight
If you’re in the food industry as a manufacturer or food processor, understanding catch weight is crucial to keeping your business afloat. It keeps your profits high, and your customers satisfied. Here’s what you need to know about catch weight management to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

What is Catch Weight?

In the food industry, “catch weight” refers to the exact weight of a food item. It’s used for pricing food items that vary in sizes such as meats, blocks of cheeses, fruits, and vegetables, and are typically sold in bulk. For example, you can find chicken breasts sold in packages of four at your local grocery store. But these packages won’t all be the same price because they have different weights. If all the packages were priced the same, one customer might end up with 23 ounces of chicken and another with 26 ounces for the same price. The packages of chicken are priced according to weight, so customers pay according to weight.

Why Is It Important?

Catch weight is essential for pricing, but you should also know the average weight of the food you manufacture, produce, or store. So, for example, if you’re the meat packing plant that packages those chicken breasts, you should use the average weight of a chicken breast. That will help you when you are making estimates about your supply. To differentiate between these two numbers, we will say “average weight” and “catch weight.” Sometimes average weight is also referred to as “nominal weight.”

Where Did the Term “Catch Weight” Come From?

The term “catch weight” has its origins in professional boxing and wrestling. Boxers and wrestlers are paired up according to their weights. However, athletes used to bulk up in the time leading up to a fight, giving them an unexpected weight advantage over their opponent. Some athletes ended up getting hurt because they were fighting someone who should have been in a weight class above them.

To increase fairness, athletic associations started implementing catch weights. Because of these rules, wrestlers and boxers are now required to weigh-in right before getting in the ring. If they no longer qualify for a specific weight class, officials know right away. They can prevent athletes from getting injured due to weight discrepancy.

Why is Catch Weight Management Important in the Food Industry?

In the food industry, catch weight does not carry the same implications for health and safety that it does in professional sports. However, it impacts your time and money. Without proper catch weight food management, your business and its reputation will suffer. Food producers can track both the average weight of an item and catch weight of their items through catch weight management. Food processors and manufacturers should all have a working knowledge of catch weight management. Businesses who don’t use effective catch weight food management constantly fight off complaints.

Getting Complaints & Losing Money – Problems with Pricing Based on Average Weight

If you priced your food items based on average weight, there would be times when an item weighs significantly under or over the average weight. If the item is underweight, the customer or business you’re selling to will feel that they are getting ripped off. They’re paying for more food than they are actually getting. You’ll have to deal with their complaints and spend time resolving the error. Ultimately, you may lose their business and your good reputation.

Many companies purposefully aim to produce products that weight slightly more than the listed weight. That allows them to have a buffer in case they fall short. Over time, those expenses add up, but it’s worth it to prevent a scenario where the customer feels you’re constantly shorting them. In any case, having proper catch weight food management in place will help you avoid costly errors.

bcFood’s Catch Weight Module

Tracking the catch weight of all your food items manually is costly. You’ll pay for countless hours of labor while also running the risk of costly human errors. With bcFood’s Catch Weight Module, you can sell your items by the case but price them by the pound. The software keeps track of both the average and the nominal weight of all your food items. You’re able to determine weight tolerance percentages for each of your food items. This way, you can always be sure that your catch weight values fall within a reasonable range of average weight.

At times when you’re outside the tolerance percentage, you can adjust before the item ships. This consistency will increase your customer satisfaction! Our software is compatible with electronic scales, so you won’t even need to buy new equipment. Accurately recording catch and nominal weight is easy with our software.

bcFood’s Catch Weight Module saves you time and money. It makes sure you are always being accurate and delivering exactly what your customers are paying for. Getting started is easy! We implement the software and train your employees on how to use it properly. Your whole company will adjust with ease.

If you still have questions, we’re always just one phone call away. Contact bcFood to learn more about our effective catch weight management solution!