I need to be more careful with labels - what does "made *with* Akaushi Wagyu Ground Beef" mean?

Local grocer had bogo on pre-packaged 1 pound packages of ground beef that seemed like I was getting Wagyu for (after bogo) the price of regular market ground beef.

When I got home I looked at the package more closely and see the legend is

  • “Made with Akaushi Wagyu Ground Beef” (emphasis mine)

I’ve done a bit of searching and haven’t found anything to make me think it’s not actually Wagyu beef, but that “made with” designation often means (like in fruit juice drinks) that it may be “made with just a tiny bit” of the named substance.

The other note on the package is “Ranch Raised” which my brain translated as “grass fed”, but now I’m thinking this designation may not mean that and may be meaningless.

Anyone have any experience with ground beef using a “made with” designation, and/or a “ranch raised” designation?

The company is called HeartBrand and they seem fairly legit from what I can find, although they were sued recently along for failing to provide genetic data proving the Akaushi Wagyu lineage of some of the cows they sold.

Things labeled as Wagyu for sale in the United States are not typically held to a specific regulation about how much Wagyu DNA has to be in the beef to be called Wagyu. This is an interesting article about it:

I’m mostly familiar with Angus that has been cross bred with Wagyu from Snake River Farms. It’s a nice once in a while treat with lots of the marbling you would expect from Wagyu, but the more beefy flavor you get from Angus. It’s also easier on my wallet when we do splurge.


Thanks much Amanda.

1 Like

I know nothing of the product you bought but I have always turned a skeptical eye towards anything that claims to be wagyu ground meat. If it’s true wagyu I don’t see the point of grinding it. Wagyu is so tender and fatty that I can’t eat more than a small amount. It’s like eating warm butter that has some substance.


There is always going to be some trimming to grind up when you butcher a cow. I suspect what CCE got was a mix of whatever trimmings, Wagyu and whatever else was around, that were made into burger that day.

I also see wagyu being sold that is not nearly as marbled as what you are referring to. It can taste very nice but not the same as what I think you are talking about which I think I have only had once at a very expensive Japanese restaurant.


All in for the ribeye cap splurge.

1 Like