Savory Butcher: alternative to Zaycon Fresh that is worth researching and understanding to decide if it is the right way for your family to go for buying some of your meats.
I am giving an honest look and review at this option, especially after the closing of Zaycon Fresh and many thousands left with hundreds of dollars in lost orders. So let’s dive into the topic of Savory Butcher.
Here’s the topics we are going to be discussing, click on the links below to be taken right to that topic within this article:
- What is The Savory Butcher?
- How long has Savory Butcher been around?
- Where does Savory Butcher deliver?
- Are Savory Butcher’s prices the same as Zaycon Fresh?
- Are Savory Butcher’s prices competitive or better than the grocery store?
- Examples of Frequent Grocery Sales Cycles on Meats and Savory Butcher’s prices
- When is the best time to to buy at the Grocery Store?
- Can I find these same products anywhere else, or are they exclusive to Savory Butcher?
- What advantages are there to ordering from Savory Butcher
- What disadvantages are there to ordering from Savory Butcher
- How does Savory Butcher compare to Zaycon Fresh?
- Who Works For or Runs Savory Butcher?
- Is it worth ordering from Savory Butcher?
What is The Savory Butcher?
The Zaycon Fresh guys are back with a new company! If you were a Zaycon customer, then you may be interested in learning about Savory Butcher.
According to the FAQ on their website, Savory Butcher is a company that orders from the large manufactures and meat producers like Farmland/Smithfield, National Beef, Wayne Farms etc. and other very large meat distributors and processors, direct and in bulk, like how a restaurant or grocery store would order. Then instead of repackaging and selling retail, Savory Butcher delivers it by truck in the same bulk commercial packaging to local areas about once a month, direct to the consumer to repackage for their freezers themselves.
“If this sounds familiar – it’s probably because you have heard about or were a former customer of a company called Zaycon Fresh that did the exact same thing…”
If this sounds familiar – it’s probably because you have heard about or were a former customer of a company called Zaycon Fresh that did the exact same thing, with the exact same processors/suppliers from 2009 until it’s unexpected closure in June of 2018.
How long has Savory Butcher been around?
The guys from Zaycon Fresh brought it back through Savory Butcher just a few weeks after Zaycon Fresh closed. It quickly filled the void left by Zaycon Fresh.
After they announced their opening in July of 2018, Savory Butcher made their first delivery on August 27, 2018 in Utah, just about 9 weeks after Zaycon Fresh closed.
Where does Savory Butcher deliver?
At the time of the writing of this post, Savory Butcher is a West-only company making deliveries in the following states each month:
Are Savory Butcher’s prices the same as Zaycon Fresh?
Savory Butcher is offering prices to Zaycon’s regular prices. Personally, we talked about Zaycon on our site when they had their own rock bottom sales. I don’t think we ever purchased product at Zaycon’s regular prices, because even in bulk, we could beat the prices at our grocery store. I didn’t buy the chicken unless it dropped under $1.69 per lb. But that was for the untrimmed and so after spending 3-4 hours trimming it, we would also lose about 2-4 lbs of fat/trimmings that we paid for.
So Savory Butcher’s prices are a little higher than Zaycon’s regular prices, and sometimes they will be competitive with Zaycon’s regular prices.
Are Savory Butcher’s prices competitive or better than the grocery store?
First, Savory Butcher advertises that they have prices 30-40% less than the national average. But note that this is a “national average” as set by Unerbarry official protein market prices reporting. That means that high–cost areas like Manhattan in New York City or Honolulu, HI, are counted into this.
So for most people, the savings will be closer to the 30% when you compare to the regular retail price found in your local grocery store.
However, a frugal or price-minded shopper can and will beat the prices frequently on the same products in the grocery store. When you compare Savory Butcher’s prices to the regular prices in the grocery store, you may see a savings when buying in 30-40 lb bulk supply from Savory Butcher.
“A frugal or price-minded shopper can and will beat the prices frequently. “
But if you are anything like us, you likely buy almost all of your meats when they are on sale.
There is a difference between a sale at the grocery store and a rock bottom sale. Our local stores will have a rock bottom meat sale on at least one cut and type of meat per week. These are the sales that are 50% off or Buy One Get One Free. The extra benefit with these rock bottom sales is that we get to pick and choose the cuts, the size of cuts, the quality, the fat content, etc. and stock up in the exact amount we want.
Examples of Frequent Grocery Sales Cycles on Meats and Savory Butcher’s prices
For example, last month, my grocery store had ground beef for B1G1 Free and so we stocked up. Cassie also likes to shop Target’s markdown meats (she does the majority of our shopping) where they will take $1, $3 or $5 of each package 1-4 lb package, making it much cheaper and they have great quality meats.
As another example, Savory Butcher delivers the bacon from Farmland in bulk 15 lb or 30 lb boxes for around $5 per lb on average. Savory Butcher offers both the thick cut and the uncured. Our grocery store sells the bacon for $5.69 for 1lb as a regular price, so Savory Butcher offers a bit of a savings over regular price (but consider that you are buying 15 or 30 lb at a time instead of 1 at a time).
However, when we hit a sale like Cassie and I did a few weeks ago, we were able to get both the uncured and thick cut Farmland bacon (the exact one Savory Butcher sells in bulk) in 1 lb packs (that we could inspect for fat content – a huge bonus) for $3.99 a package. So we bought 10 and did my own version of bulk buying for much less.
Here’s another example, Savory Butcher offers pork loin for $3.29 per lb in bulk. They are frozen loins. Just this week at our local grocery store, the same fresh pork was on sale for $0.99 per lb when you bought 10 lbs or more. It is a savings for $2.80 per lb. So if we were buying regular price pork loin, it would be cheaper at Savory Butcher at $3.29 vs. $3.89 regular price at the grocery store, but we don’t buy it at regular price.
When is the best time to to buy at the Grocery Store?
Each week, the grocery store will offer a range of sales on different cuts of meats. But if you look at the front or back page of a grocery ad, those are the loss leaders. And they usually have 1-3 cuts of meats that are loss leaders that week. The loss leaders are what we call the rock bottom deals.
Since we have been frugal shoppers for decades, we often find that the rock bottom sales circulate about every 6-8 weeks (on anything, not just meats). We are “stock up” shoppers, so each week that we shop, we are buying the produce and then stocking up on the meat, dairy, freezer foods and pantry foods that are the loss leaders in their category. We don’t shop according to a menu. Fresh fruits and veggies plus the loss leaders in a 6-8 week supply to get us to the next rock bottom sale is how we shop!
We wait for these sales on the cuts and meats we want and hand pick pieces along with better prices than Savory Butcher and stock up from the grocery store. We have figured out that shopping this way saves us about 30-40% off Savory Butcher’s prices! Plus I can go to the store on my own schedule instead of trying to meet a truck for a 30 minute window once a month.
So if you are accustomed to buying meats full-price and buying in 40 lb groups, then Savory Butcher will save you money. Otherwise, skip it and save money the way most grocery shoppers do by stocking up the loss leader meats each week.
“So if you are accustomed to buying meats full-price and buying in 40 lb groups, then Savory Butcher will save you money. Otherwise, skip it and save money the way most grocery shoppers do by stocking up the loss leader meats each week. “
Can I find these same products anywhere else, or are they exclusive to Savory Butcher?
Savory Butcher does not have exclusive meat offerings that we can tell. They are buying from Farmland/Smithfield, National Beef, Wayne Farms, etc. very large processors and suppliers that supply grocery, restaurant and warehouse stores all over the country. They don’t own or manage their own farms. The are basically just a delivery service for them to bring it to your area direct instead of it taking a detour to the grocery or warehouse stores.
What advantages are there to ordering from Savory Butcher
Please note, the advantages listed in this section are in reference to the 2 main popular products – fresh chicken breast and fresh ground beef. I do not know if any of this also applies to the processed and frozen foods that make up the majority of their line.
The main benefit Savory Butcher claims is the freshness for some of the products they offer. With grocery stores or restaurants, the meats could have been in a freezer first for a few months before hitting the shelves. That means that the grocery store meats may not be as fresh as you are hoping. Sometimes you might get them fresh, but it’s not a guarantee.
For the fresh products Savory Butcher claims is always fresh they pick it up and deliver it to the local area. This is about a 1-2 week long process. So when you get your meats, they are anywhere from 5-14 days old. At least that was our experience when we tried out Savory Butcher and saw the packing dates on our boxes.
The frozen products Savory Butcher offers may not have this benefit and be just the same boat as a grocery store. So if getting meats guaranteed fresh, within 2 weeks of butchering, then this is the main benefit. However there is a big tradeoff for this benefit (read disadvantages below).
Savory Butcher does claim that their meats are American raised, no added hormones, and anti-biotic free (which does not mean no antibiotics ever, it means they were flushed out by the time slaughter happens). Overall, the above claims do generally mean a better quality, but these exact cuts (and brands) and specifications can also be found in the grocery store. The grocery store will have super budget meats that may not make these claims, but they also have the healthier/higher quality meats as well, but it’s just a matter of understanding the labels and comparing prices.
“So if getting meats guaranteed fresh, within 2 weeks of butchering, then this is the main benefit. However there is a big tradeoff for this benefit.”
What disadvantages are there to ordering from Savory Butcher
- The original Zaycon owners and latter day managers and execs are running the company.
How does Savory Butcher compare to Zaycon Fresh?
Consider the companies pretty much exactly the same…with the exception of Savory Butcher offering the $10 deposit and the balance due the week before delivery.
“Consider the companies (Zaycon and Savory Butcher) pretty much exactly the same…”
Who Works For or Runs Savory Butcher?
After one year into their existence, it has become publicly known that Savory Butcher employees/owners are all from Zaycon Fresh.
Mike Conrad was the owner and CEO at Zaycon. Mike Conrad is the current co-owner/CEO of Savory Butcher.
Adam Kremin was the owner/COO at Zaycon Fresh. Adam Kremin is the current co-owner/COO of Savory Butcher.
Erle Adams was the manager of the blogger program at Zaycon Fresh, and we got to know him because he was our point of contact at Zaycon if we had questions, concerns or needed insider help in some way. Josie is Erle’s girlfriend.
Ethan Federman was the one of the programmers at Zaycon Fresh.
Is it worth ordering from Savory Butcher?
That’s totally up to you! After many years of being customers and bloggers on behalf of Zaycon Fresh, we are choosing to not take a risk this time since it is all too familiar to us and we can often get better prices anyway. We lost thousands at Zaycon Fresh, without explanation.
Additionally, we did find some things in a Google search that are unsettling to us personally that cause us to be perfectly fine shopping elsewhere. We will share the links (and do your own research too to be an informed and empowered consumer).
- This judgement against Mike and Adam of securities fraud (investment fraud) by the State of Washington before Zaycon Fresh
- This article from the Spokesman Review regarding a lawsuit that claims securities fraud, misrepresentation at Zaycon (#2 case of the same claims)
- This article from the Spokane Journal further detailing the suit
After our experience with Zaycon Fresh and some unsavory dealings trying out Savory Butcher with similar warning signs as Zaycon Fresh, we will sit this one out.