And those were probably the genuine article on the table last night.
Now a lot of people have been treating this as bizarre and inexplicable but it’s not at all really. The Trump name is a brand like Louis Vuitton or Tiffany and for years and years The Donald has been entering into lucrative licensing and marketing agreements to capitalize on it.
Most of the products were not particularly successful and have been dropped, things like Trump Water and Trump Vodka and Trump Wine. The most notorious one is probably Trump University which was one of these on line degree mills, other than sell his name and image I imagine he had very little connection with it.
But another real thing was Trump Steaks. It’s not like he had a ranch somewhere, he bought them wholesale from Sysco’s (a nation wide institutional food and catering vendor) premium meat division, re-packaged them in signature gift boxes, and sold them through Sharper Image.
Yes, they actually cost $50 for an 8 oz. steak.
Were they good? Reports differ, but they probably didn’t suck. Sysco has nice stuff and they have crap stuff. They certainly didn’t cost The Donald anything like $100 a pound. You were paying for the Trump brand and that neat box and the prestige of telling your guests that their meat cost $100 a pound.
Anyway they dropped the product because it didn’t sell well and it’s not like they’ve been sitting in The Donald’s freezer all these years. He picked up a phone and called Sysco (actually probably some low level flunky got that job) and said- “Hey, you remember those steaks I used to buy from you? I need 10 pounds.”
A Definitive History Of Trump Steaks™
by Natasha Geiling, Think Progress
Mar 4, 2016 2:16 pm
In all the name-calling surrounding Donald J. Trump, the current Republican presidential front-runner and likely nominee, there’s one title that, until very recently, was rarely applied: steak salesman.
“Ever heard of Trump steak or Trump vodka?” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked during the most recent Republican debate. “Take a look at Trump Steaks. Trump Steaks is gone. You have ruined these companies.”
It is true that Trump is no longer a frozen steak salesman. That venture — Trump Steaks™ — was brief, lasting in earnest for just two months in the summer of 2007 as part of an agreement with the Sharper Image, that late-aughts mall store perhaps best known for electric massage chairs and double wine chillers. But in recent months, Trump’s brief tenure as a frontman for a line of frozen steaks has resurfaced in the public imagination.
There’s not much left of Trump Steaks — you can’t order them anymore, and the websites that once sold the frozen meat slabs are now relegated to the internet archives. But as Trump continues to hurtle towards the Republican nomination and, perhaps, the presidency, it’s worth looking back at exactly how a man who so consistently brags about his intelligence and business acumen failed to sell steaks to one of the most beef-obsessed countries in the world.