Both Crowd Cow and Omaha Steaks are popular options when it comes to buying meat online. So, which one is the best meat delivery service for the dedicated carnivore?
In order to come up with a recommendation, I tried out both meat delivery services over a span of two months. Here is what I learned.
Omaha Steaks vs Crowd Cow: Key Differences
The main difference between Crowd Cow and Omaha Steaks is in the sourcing of their meat. Omaha Steaks is a meat company that sources, processes, and sells meat from traditional suppliers.
In contrast, Crowd Cow buys its meat from small farms and ranches from around the world that meet its demanding requirements.
This difference in sourcing means that the meat quality can vary significantly between the two companies. Crowd Cow has more control over the quality of its meat since they source it from highly scrutinized suppliers.
Comparing Their Features Head to Head
After trying out these two companies and using their websites, here is a summary of their major features and how they compare to each other.
1. Sourcing and Quality
Possibly the most critical factor when choosing a meat delivery service is the quality of the product, and this is firmly connected to where the meat comes from.
Crowd Cow is known for being a purveyor of top-end meat - Japanese and American Wagyu grass-fed beef, Kurobuta and heritage breed pork, free-range organic chicken, sustainably raised seafood, and more. As such, I expect the business to source its products in such a way that maximizes their quality.
The company gets its meat from over 50 different partners located in countries worldwide. You can visit the website and examine each sourcing location to learn about their animal husbandry and sustainability practices .
“From product to packaging, we’re committed to sustainability. We use recyclable and compostable packaging, offset the carbon emissions of every order, and work with producers who care about the environment just as much as we do.”
- Crowd Cow
The website has tags that identify which of their small family farms are hormone and antibiotic-free, which are organic, which don't use GMO products, which have grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, etc.
From there, you can go in-depth to any supplier and get detailed data as to if they have free-range beef, if it is grain-finished, whether it offers heritage breed pork, etc.
Overall, Crowd Cow tries to “create an alternative to the current meat commodity system.” Furthermore, the company is carbon neutral certified, demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Known as ‘America’s Original Butcher’, Omaha Steaks is a bit vaguer about where they source their meat. It doesn’t advertise organic meat, but the website says that they have long-standing relationships with ranchers and farmers from all over America to bring customers the best USDA Prime beef in the world. The company does have its own meat processing facilities, which increases the freshness of its product.
While I'm sure that Omaha Steaks does its best to find high-quality meat sources, the lack of transparency is a bit of a turnoff. When purchasing food, I want to know about the sustainability of the company’s farming practices, if they have grass-fed beef, and whether any unnecessary chemicals are being used in the creation of my food.
2. Menu and Selection
One of the advantages of buying meat online is the ability to choose from a wide variety of cuts, products, and meat types that you cannot get at the local grocery store.
Crowd Cow sells a broad range of meat options via its website. In addition to the usual suspects - high-quality beef, pork, and chicken - they also have lamb, duck, and seafood. They also offer game meats such as bison, wild boar, and venison.
The options are plentiful and include wild salmon, Wagyu beef, a boneless pork chop, pork tenderloin, New York strip, and sirloin steak. As you explore the menu, you can find pulled pork, chicken breasts, elk cuts, and more.
The website is easy to navigate, and you are able to examine all the different options and meats available before making your purchase.
Crowd Cow lets you shop for items sourced by an individual farm. It also identifies the farms that are located closest to your city, state, or zip code.
Omaha Steaks has a comparable range of basic meat choices as Crowd Cow. It also has a similar total number of cuts available. They have everything from filet mignon to NY strip steaks, bacon to ribs, and grouper to lobster.
You can get boneless pork chops, dry-aged ground beef, sirloin steaks, chuck roast, and wild-caught seafood.
A few areas of difference are that Omaha Steaks does not have Japanese Wagyu, pasture-raised chicken, or heritage ground pork like Crowd Cow. They also do not offer as many game meats. That said, Omaha has items that Crowd Cow does not - like charcuterie, soup, veal, and stews.
3. Plans and Pricing
Of course, one of the most important factors when choosing a meat delivery service is price. Here is a breakdown of how these two companies compare.
Crowd Cow offers both monthly meat subscription boxes and a plethora of à la carte options. Any beef, pork, or chicken cuts you want can go into a box. A box can be all of one meat or it can be a mixed box. You can also choose carefully curated beef boxes to give as gifts to the steak lovers in your life.
The membership has some perks, including a 5% savings on all orders and two pounds of free grass-fed, pasture-raised ground beef in your monthly custom box. This meat subscription service lets you choose what you want in your meat box every month and lets you enjoy free ground shipping on recurring orders over $125.
Prices at Crowd Cow vary depending on what you order and the quantity. Here are some examples:
- Wagyu Filet Mignon - $157.08 per pound
- Boneless Ribeye - $26.01 per pound
- Chicken Breast - $11.37 per pound
- Sockeye Salmon - $48.91 per pound
- Bacon - $14.01 per pound
This company’s meat delivery options are entirely made up of an à la carte service rather than a membership site. You can buy it for yourself or as a gift or care package.
In order to compare apples to apples, let's see the Omaha Steaks prices for the same items as the above:
- Wagyu Filet Mignon - $179.99 per pound
- Boneless Ribeye - $31.96 per pound
- Chicken Breast - $12.99 per pound
- Sockeye Salmon - $29.99 per pound
- Bacon - $14.99 per pound
You can see that Omaha Steaks is generally a little pricier than Crowd Cow.
4. Shipping and Packaging
Ensuring that your meat arrives fresh and delicious is a crucial concern when ordering from online meat or grocery delivery services. Here's how these two companies deliver premium meat options and compare in packaging.
Crowd Cow ships its orders anywhere within the 48 contiguous United States. Shipping is free for members on orders over $125 and for non-members on orders over $149. Otherwise, shipping costs a flat rate of $19.99, regardless of the weight of the order.
Crowd Cow ships its meat in an insulated box to keep the products cold. The packaging is entirely recyclable - even the shipping foam. The insulation can be composted, used as a fire starter, or dissolved in water. I used the box my package arrived in when I was out camping to start the fire and it surely did live up to the promise.
The foam insulation creates fewer greenhouse gasses and requires less energy to produce than petroleum-made foam. Instead, it is made of cornstarch, a renewable resource . This is all part of the sustainable ethos of the company.
Omaha Steaks has a broader geographical reach than Crowd Cow, shipping to all 50 states as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Shipping is free on orders over $169.98 and otherwise is done at a flat rate of $19.99.
There are additional costs for shipping outside the lower 48 states:
- Alaska/Hawaii - add $39.99
- Canada - add $42.99
- Puerto Rico - add $39.00
- U.S. Virgin Islands - add $125.00
You also have options for faster shipping as follows:
- Express (2-3 business days) - add $19.99
- Rush (1-2 business days) - add $39.99
- Saturday Rush (1-2 business days) - add $49.99
Omaha Steaks ships its meat as individually frozen portions that are placed in an insulated box to keep the contents cold. Dry ice is used to make sure the meat arrives frozen at the door. Because they ship in a polystyrene container, the company makes no claims about the sustainable nature of its packaging.
Crowd Cow vs Omaha Steaks: Who Wins?
Both of these companies have a lot to offer the customer looking for high-quality online meat delivery services. I was never let down by either delivery service’s delicious meat in all my taste testing.
That said, the option to get Japanese Wagyu, heritage pork, or free-range chicken gives Crowd Cow an edge. The transparency of its suppliers and the commitment to healthy and sustainable resourcing reinforce the Crowd Cow advantage.
If you are interested in learning more about Crowd Cow, check them out here.