Urban Eclectics, Demystified

Jo Ann and Joseph

Jo Ann with her son Joseph, her favorite Urban Eclectic

I have raised an Urban Eclectic. I am not exactly sure how it happened: one day I was doling out Cheerios to an infant in a high chair and the next I was sitting across from a 23-year-old eating kimchi for breakfast.

If you’re not familiar with Midan’s recent Meat Consumer Segmentation research yet, Urban Eclectics are one of six distinct meat consumer groups. Each consumer segment is unique with its own way of thinking about and eating meat. Urban Eclectics tend to be younger, urban, upscale and have families with children. Forty-one percent of them are Millennials (21-34 years old) and slightly more than half are male. You can also define Urban Eclectics by what they care about: novelty, variety, convenience, healthiness and animal welfare.

Based on these characteristics, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my son is likely an Urban Eclectic, although he’s on the younger end of the spectrum and doesn’t have any children. He just finished his first year of law school.

Growing up, Joseph was firmly in the “Picky Eater” segment; his diet consisted mainly of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese along with a few vegetables forced upon him by his mother. His taste in food has evolved gradually and by necessity. When he studied abroad in England one semester in college, food was so expensive there he bought a frying pan and learned to sauté beef and chicken for himself. This is the generation that is least educated about how to prepare meat, so if you give him a slab of protein that he can throw in the skillet or toss on the grill, he’s good to go. (I recently shared the NAMI Meat Up app with him so he could be more knowledgeable at the meat case.)

Two weeks ago my husband and I spent the weekend with him in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he has a summer law internship. Chattanooga is a neat little town; it has a scenic waterfront and a hip downtown with a cool mix of restaurants and breweries. In other words, it’s a natural habitat for Urban Eclectics.

When we arrived late Friday evening, Joseph told us that he had eaten dinner earlier at Whole Foods, where he dined on pork barbeque, roasted chicken and (gasp!) vegetables. Even though they tend to be price-conscious, Urban Eclectics place a high value on convenient meal solutions and grocers that offer fresh food, fast get their business. Why make dinner when someone else can make it for you? (This philosophy worked extremely well for my son for the first 18 years of his life.)

So think about this: Urban Eclectics comprise 33% of total meat eaters, and they are often grabbing dinner from the prepared foods case, not the meat case. One recent study states that 54% of Millennials eat out at least three times a week. Traditional meat marketing just won’t cut it with this crew, because they aren’t shopping the meat case regularly. Urban Eclectics do value in-store displays to help them make choices and get ideas, but first you’ve got to get them to the back of the store. One way to reach them is online; not surprisingly, they are the heaviest users of internet to help make pre-shopping decisions.

Urban Eclectics also care about eating “real” foods. (As a mother who made dinner just about every night, this makes me chuckle. Leave it to this younger generation to think they discovered home cooking.)

When heading out for breakfast before we left Chattanooga, my husband suggested we eat at Panera so we could get on the road quickly. Joseph was horrified. Nothing against Panera, but why go there when you can check out one of the local eateries with more “authentic” choices? We wound up at a delightful breakfast spot, where, along with your standard eggs and pancakes, you could get a breakfast rice bowl. My son ordered the Asian Breakfast Bowl with jasmine rice, glazed pork belly, house kimchi, house pickles, toasted sesame seeds and a soft boiled egg. Let’s just say, we were a million miles from Panera.

When I said eating pickles for breakfast was weird, he replied, “I don’t eat weird things; I eat normal things at weird times.” He has a point. Urban Eclectics are changing the rules of what to eat, when to eat and where to eat, and the meat industry will need to pay attention to stay tuned in to this aptly named, important group of meat consumers.

So, the long and short of it is, if you can find the perfect mix of “real” and “real convenient,” then you will have hooked the Urban Eclectics. Kids these days… they want it all, don’t they?

Learn more about Urban Eclectics and the other meat consumer segments.

Not Your Average Carnivore

Alexandria Tyre is an Account Executive at Midan Marketing

I love cooking for family and friends. Whether it’s during the holidays, watching a college football game, or a simple weekday dinner, I take pride in preparing my guests a delicious meal. My husband actually says that the easiest way to insult me is to say that you were a guest in my home and left HUNGRY. I guess that is my Sicilian heritage surfacing!

To me, a meal is not complete without meat – unless maybe if it is a delicious bowl of risotto, but even then, a little pancetta never hurt. One of our vegetarian friends (yes, I have friends who are vegetarians) planned to join us for dinner and I was panicked. Despite being a fairly adept home cook, how was I going to make a satisfying dinner for everyone invited without meat? Needless to say, meat is the centerpiece of my meals.

So what does all of this have to do with consumer research? Well, apparently…a lot! Midan recently conducted a study to learn more about the different types of consumer segments in today’s market. According to the Meat Consumer Segmentation survey, I am a Voracious Carnivore. This surprised me as I’ve never considered myself a meat-and-potatoes type of gal. As a millennial, I’m younger than the average age of a Voracious Carnivore, and I am not from a small or rural community. But as I continue to read the segment profile, I realize that I am indeed a Voracious Carnivore.

Our household is motivated to eat more meat because it is easy and quick to prepare. Grilling a few ribeye or NY strip steaks is one of the most satiating meals, especially because clean-up is so minimal. On a regular basis I prepare a lot of chicken or ground beef because they are affordable and versatile for recipes from fajitas to meatballs. I like to keep my pantry and fridge well-stocked with basics so with the addition of protein, I can make a variety of dishes.

I also eat a lot of beef, chicken and pork because it works for my health. Despite my love of pasta and pancakes (really any carb in any format), carbs don’t work well for my waistline. Eating a protein-rich diet helps me not only maintain my weight but feel energized throughout the day. Even when I want to indulge, beef is still on the menu in the form of filet mignon with béarnaise sauce or steak frites with aioli.

To keep my diet on track, I make lists and plan my meals in advance whenever possible. Unlike most Voracious Carnivores, I do a lot of my recipe planning and grocery shopping in advance on my smart phone. However, like my fellow Voracious Carnivores, I have go-to recipes that I use frequently. Despite my routines, I appreciate stores that offer a variety of products in the meat case. I also like stores that value my loyalty and reward it with exclusive promotions or discounts because it helps me keep meat a part of my weekly meals.

Want to know what type of meat consumer segment you’re a part of? Download the FREE Meat Consumer Segmentation Executive Summary to learn more about Voracious Carnivores and its five consumer segment counterparts today!

The Selective Foodies Party

Gibson and Scout out on the town

Coca-Cola. Team Fitz. Vinegar-based BBQ sauce. Dog lover. Millennial.

Thanks to the Meat Consumer Segmentation research study, I can now add a new label to my list: Selective Foodie.

In December of 2016, Midan surveyed 2,200 meat eaters to better understand attitudes and behaviors surrounding meat purchasing and preparation. The results yielded six distinct segments of meat consumers, for which we created unique profiles to illustrate a multi-dimensional view of purchase drivers and shopping habits.

I’m a member of the smallest meat consumer segment, but what we lack in numbers, we make up for in passion! It’s never just about putting food on the table – it’s about finding the perfect recipe, crafting a complete grocery list, preparing with love (and wine) and enjoying a home-cooked meal with the fam. It’s about the experience.

If you’re hoping to appeal to Selective Foodies like me here are the two biggest ways to do so:

Build Your Brand

Because we’re a family-oriented group who values quality over price, we want to buy products we can depend on, and our devotion to national brands accomplishes that. I didn’t realize what a brand loyalist I was until my rehearsal dinner, when two of my college roommates gave my groom tips for living with me. Making the list was the need to always purchase Aveeno skin products. What can I say…they smell good!

This is also where my Millennial-ism starts showing. My generation likes finding brands they can believe in, like Endangered Species Chocolate, which does a pretty sweet job of turning cravings into philanthropy. What does your brand stand for? What’s your brand story? What are people saying about your brand? If you aren’t asking these questions, now’s the time – because Selective Foodies already are.

Sell the Experience

From community-style seating to farm-to-table décor, the restaurant industry has a strong handle on how to create an interesting dining experience that makes a perfect backdrop for Instagram posts. But a foodie is not exclusively defined by their attraction to trendy restaurants or the hottest new ingredient – again, it’s about the experience.

The Selective Foodies segment indexes high in the South, which comes as no surprise, because if there’s one thing we love in the South, it’s a story – and what’s a story without an experience? If you can illustrate what kind of experience your products offer, whether it’s a nostalgic holiday feast or lively Memorial Day bash, then you’ll get those storytelling wheels turning.

Like I said – it’s never just about putting food on the table. It’s about birthday burgers and a Panthers half-time on the half-shell. It’s watching Friday Night Lights with brisket and Shiner, because “Texas Forever.” It’s brunch with girlfriends and Ben & Jerry’s with my husband.

I could go on and on, but now I’m hungry and want to plan a party.

This Wavering Budgeteer Doesn’t Waver on a Good Deal

Diana and her Voracious Carnivore, Jeff.

My name is Diana Patulak Ross and I am the new proofreader at Midan Marketing. I am also new to the meat world (my background is in journalism, not meat!), so I was excited to attend our recent Meat Consumer Segmentation webinar. I was fascinated by the various meat consumer segments and curious to see which one I fit.

When it comes to shopping I am very thrifty so I wasn’t surprised to learn that I fall into the Wavering Budgeteer segment. The research was spot on!

Being a former newspaper reporter, I still love the smell of a hard copy newspaper so I go through the Sunday paper and circulars for coupons and store advertisements. After doing my research I know which stores have the best prices on meats and I am not afraid to travel to more than one to capture a good deal.

Since the Meat Consumer Segmentation profile so perfectly pegged me, I read the entire study so I could figure out where my husband landed. He is a Voracious Carnivore. (I guessed that one also.) Growing up in America’s heartland he was brought up on meat and corn so those items play a big part in our weekly meal plan.

So I make my list before I leave the house and once at the store look for in-store promotions that satisfy my budget while appealing to his love of prime rib. Marriage and meal planning are both a balancing act, right?

At the store I pay attention to in-store promotions as I like trying something new but am often deterred by price. A promotion or coupon gets my attention and will often make the difference between whether I purchase the item or not. Here’s where the “wavering” part of the segment comes in: if I’m on the fence, offering me a deal helps me pull the trigger!

I take the time to read product labels so learning about new recipes or reinforcing the importance of good nutrition will often lead me to purchase the product even though it wasn’t on my original list. Getting added value for my money is another way to capture my meat dollars.

Want to know the best way to market to money-conscious Wavering Budgeteers? Those of us in this segment want to feel we are getting a great deal on a purchase. So mailing coupons or printing them in the local paper will bring us in while point-of-sale promotions, especially ones that provide product information as well as good pricing, will lead us to buy.

I enjoyed learning about where I fit into meat consumer segmentation and look forward to nosing around into some of the other segments. Hopefully my training as a reporter and my Wavering Budgeteer personality will help me sniff out a story and a good deal or two.

I’m a Premium Player. What About You?

haley-frazierWhen it comes to my shopping habits, I have always been one to know exactly what I need. I am big on making lists and hate going out of my way to make my purchases.

Hello, my name is Haley Frazier and I am a Digital Content Coordinator at Midan Marketing. But I recently found out I am also a Premium Player.

I am referring to one of the six consumer segments Midan developed from our Meat Consumer Segmentation study. We conducted research to learn more about the different types of meat consumers in the U.S. today.

I am a millennial, but don’t let my age fool you—I pay for the meat I want because I care about having quality food! That’s one of the key characteristics of a Premium Player.

Ready to learn about this Premium Player’s habits?

Saturday morning: start meal planning for the week. The first thing I do is pull out my phone and search Yummly for dinner ideas. (For you non-millennials out there, Yummly is a recipe app that provides recommendations based on your personal preference.) I like trying different recipes with fun flavors, but I tend to stick with the same meats. Once the menu is complete and the shopping list is put together, I don’t grab my keys and head to my local grocery store; instead, I grab my laptop to order my groceries online! “Okay Google, let’s go shopping!” (I love using my voice-activated assistant.)

Ordering groceries online is rather new to me, but it’s awesome. I don’t have to squeeze my way through the narrow aisles or wait in the long lines on an early Saturday morning.

After ordering all of my produce, I click over to the butcher department. When I buy my meat, I don’t focus on prices as much as I do the labels/packaging. I care about the health attributes…is it all-natural, antibiotic-free and, if I’m being honest, does the packaging appeal to me? (I like a package that looks fresh and healthy.) To me, having quality meat at every meal is important, but at times, I’m okay trying a lighter meal with a non-meat protein.

Once I finish ordering my groceries, I select the time that I am able to pick them up. When I get home and I start putting them away, I don’t think twice about putting my meat in the freezer. I know I won’t eat it fast enough and to me, freezing my meat doesn’t take away from the taste.

So how do you market to a millennial Premium Player like me? Start focusing on online shopping. Think of ways you can make your packaging not just appealing in the store, but also online. Highlight the health attributes of your meat, share various ways you can prepare the meat or offer multiple flavor options that will inspire me to add to my routine meat purchases.

Saturday evening: make a delicious meal, curl up on the couch with my cat and binge watch Netflix for the next four hours. (See, I really am a millennial!) 😉

Learn more about Premium Players and the other five meat consumer segments by downloading our free Meat Consumer Segmentation Executive Summary.

If you’d like to chat about the research, please contact Maggie O’Quinn, our New Business Development Director.

AMC 2017 Top 10

midan-marketing-team-photoBigger than ever before (with 1,300 attendees!), the Annual Meat Conference (AMC) 2017 was an awesome opportunity to hear from experts across all phases of the meat industry about what’s next for our favorite proteins. We came prepared with our trusty notepads and pens to capture the key takeaways, and we had our work cut out for us. See below for our Top 10 learnings. What were your key findings from AMC 2017? Please share below!

Midan’s AMC 2017 Top 10 takeaways:

  1. New consumer segments can help the meat industry zero in on target customers
    New research segments meat consumers into six distinct groups with unique meat shopping attitudes and behaviors. (Michael Uetz & Danette Amstein, Midan Marketing, Meat Consumer Segmentation). Learn more here.

  2. Foreign trade remains a crucial part of meat industry success
    Forecasters predict a 4.5% increase in meat exports in 2017. Export markets must grow significantly to keep supply and demand in balance. (Randy Blach, CattleFax, Market Outlook for Meat and Poultry)

  3. The meat industry continues to face stiff competition from alternative protein sources
    There are 39% more food items with protein claims on the market today than there were four years ago. (Anne-Marie Roerink, 210 Analytics, The Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look at Meat through the Shopper’s Eyes)

  4. “Environmental eating” is dramatically impacting agriculture
    Today’s agriculture has two marketplaces: Commodity [Filling/Financial] vs. Value-Added [Feelings/Flavor]. Value-added food has a “feel good” story that sells social consciousness. (Damian Mason, Agriculture: Trends, Topics, and Tomorrow)

  5. Consumers deepen bonds with brands through shared values
    61% of consumers will not buy a product if it does not meet societal obligations. (Tish Van Dyke, Edelman, Modern Marketing in the New Media Environment)

  6. Organic offers big opportunities for increased basket rings at the register
    For total U.S., annual dollars per household spent on organic is $126. “True Believers” on the spectrum of consumer segmentation spend nearly triple that amount. (Larry Levin and Steve Ramsey, IRI, The Impact of Organic and No Antibiotics Ever Positioning on Total Store Sales)

  7. There were 540 food recalls in 2016
    Food crises unfold in a predictable sequence. Prepare in advance for a food safety issue by creating an incident guide that includes staged messaging to address possible scenarios. (Jeff Hahn, Hahn Public, Emerging Consumer Concerns and Issues Management)

  8. Pig farmers are connecting directly with consumers
    The next generation of pig farmers is successfully using social media platforms (check out @RealPigFarming on Twitter) to share photos of day-to-day farm life. (Brad Greenway, US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and Angela Anderson, National Pork Board, Communicating the Story to Consumers)

  9. Opportunity for companies ready to tailor food offerings to meet personal health needs
    While past nutrition guidelines have focused on “one size fits all” recommendations, consumers now expect a more customized approach to health and nutrition. Companies who take action now will lead the future of food (and health). (Simon Negri, A.T. Kearney and Jennifer Bentz, Tyson Foods, Inc., Personalized Nutrition: An Industry Disruptor?)

  10. FSIS easing into new requirements for ground beef recordkeeping
    FSIS has taken a six-month “soft approach” to enforcing the ground beef recordkeeping rule that became effective on 10/1/16. Retailers attempting to comply with the new rule aren’t likely to be disciplined; operators aware of the rule but ignoring it could face as-yet-unspecified disciplinary action. A new notice outlining how FSIS will enforce infractions is expected within 6-8 weeks. (Mark Dopp, North American Meat Institute and Hilary Thesmar, Food Marketing Institute, Regulatory Update)

Five Opportunities to Sell More Fresh Meat

sell-more-fresh-meatAt Midan, our Market Research Team is always scoping out the consumer trends that are having the biggest impact on the meat industry. A key part of our job is to help our clients understand the implications those trends can have on their business. By assigning meaning to facts and figures, we can help turn meat trends into opportunities.

So what opportunities should be on your radar? I’ve outlined five that you might find helpful as you jump into the new year:

  • Embrace Multi-Generations and Multi-Ethnicities
    If you pay attention to the media, you might think that Millennials are the only consumers shopping the meat case. I’m joking, of course – today’s broad and deep consumer base actually spans various cultures and generations and brings with it a range of differing values and habits.  There are four primary consumer segments affecting meat consumption trends: Millennials, Boomers, Hispanics and Asian-Americans. Members of these groups are actively influencing how fresh meat is prepared and consumed in the U.S. It’s critical to tune into the preferences and tastes of these key players so you can adjust your branding, marketing and communication efforts accordingly.

     
    Meet today’s top 4 consumer groups.

  • Promote Transparency Over Traceability
    Significant numbers of consumers value full disclosure over trace back – they’re more concerned that companies are transparent about their production practices when it comes to meat and poultry, versus exact tracking. In the 2016 Power of Meat study,  90 percent of consumers indicated a strong desire to know where their meat comes from, while only 68 percent were interested in tracing meat back to specific animals. Consumers want to know things like: Have hormones or antibiotics been used? What ingredients have been added?Are your production practices an open book when it comes to this kind of information? Being transparent is one of the fastest ways to build trust with consumers.
  • Own Protein and Other Meat Nutrients
    The meat industry has always had the best protein story, hands down. The trouble is, we aren’t telling it effectively. We are competing with yogurt and other foods on the protein battlefront when we should be the automatic victor. According to our Protein and the Plate research (conducted jointly with Meatingplace and sponsored by Yerecic Label), 70 percent of consumers said they substitute non-meat protein for fresh meat once a week.
    Unless it’s okay with you that close to three-quarters of consumers are replacing meat for at least one meal a week, we need to up our game. One way to combat this kind of substitution is to get back to the basics with consumers by reminding them that meat is one of the best protein sources on the planet as well as an excellent source of other key nutrients. We know that consumers love a good story, and we need to be telling ours.

     
    Read Danette Amstein’s blog: Resolve to Own Protein

  • Develop Value-Added Products
    Value-added items in the meat case are experiencing strong growth and there are several reasons why. Along with offering reduced preparation time and minimizing the decision-making process, these products can be sold in packages of one, two or multiple servings. More than ever, consumers crave convenience and simplicity, and the variety of package sizes meets the needs of smaller households, like Boomers. And for that younger generation that’s less educated about meat, value-added products help make dinner stress-free. It’s all about offering meal solutions that meet the needs of your consumer base.

     
    See how we helped develop the Tyson Crafted Creations brand.

  • Build Meat Brands
    You’ve heard it here before and are no doubt seeing it in our industry: commodity products are making way for branded products. Along with helping you compete in the meat case, branding is a way for you to attract new customers and generate loyalty. Branding helps build trust and a solid relationship with your company. Although the meat industry tends to be slow to change, this trend is picking up speed fast, so the time to act is now.

     
    Get meat branding tips.

Are any of these trends on your radar? Please leave a comment; I’d love to hear your feedback!

Millennials, Unfiltered

My name is Gibson and I’m a Millennial. You’ve seen my name attached to several blogs written from the Millennial perspective. Loyal blog readers have gone grocery shopping with me, grilled ribeyes with me and even sat in a classroom of carcasses with me. I’m a member of the elusive generation that everyone is talking about. The generation old enough to remember the days of dial-up internet, but too young to know a time without Justin Timberlake. The generation that knows Google as a verb and the ‘Gram as something other than a S’mores ingredient. (That’s short for Instagram, for you non-Millennials.) And as the generation of 75 million strong that is approaching its prime spending years and taking its money to the meat counter, it may be time to get to know us.

To better understand generational shopping patterns, Midan conducted a study comparing Millennials and Boomers. These two influential consumer groups were asked about meat consumption, preferences and attitudes toward meat and health, and the results are pretty spot on, according to this Millennial. While some of the findings made me feel like there must have been a hidden camera in my kitchen, others were not as applicable to my eating or shopping habits; however, I can easily see how they would apply to my fellow Millennials.

Here are the big five that stood out to me:

Health

“Millennials are more concerned about health as related to meat consumption.”

I generally maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. (It may have something to do with my obsession with icing as a child and perhaps I’m now overcorrecting that processed sugar intake by eating fruit for lunch…) I also enjoy learning about healthy foods. Speaking on behalf of Millennials, if we have a question, we ask – or rather, we Google. Because we have so many sources of information in the palm of our hand, we are able to learn more about the food on our plates – and when a popular food blogger on Pinterest tells you the benefits of using a certain ingredient over another, it’s easy to make that switch.

Meal Prep

“Millennials feel a sense of accomplishment when they prepare a complicated dish and enjoy trying new meat recipes.”

Yes and yes! Or as we say in Millennial world, “YASS.” Raise your hand if you’ve ever Instagrammed a meal you cooked. *hand raised emoji* I don’t know if there’s ever a night that I’ve cooked a meal, and I don’t look out of the corner of my eye to catch my husband’s reaction after the first bite. I love cooking and I love trying new recipes and most of all, I love when the hubs says, “This is a keeper!”

Convenience

“Prepared meat accounts for about 44 percent of Millennials’ meat purchases.”

It all boils down to convenience. While I do enjoy trying new recipes, I want an easy, healthy meal that can be made after I’m finished with Tuesday night tennis but before one of my adored TV shows comes on. I also want little cleanup – I mean, how am I supposed to live tweet Grey’s Anatomy with sudsy hands?! Again, convenience is key and prepared meats accomplish that.

Social Attitudes

“Millennials are more easily influenced. Some Millennials think that meat is becoming less socially acceptable and in a social setting are much more likely than Boomers to adjust their meat consumption to align with the group.”

This, I get. It sounds silly, but the concept of social influence does apply to me. Just last weekend I was out to dinner with girlfriends and I had my eye on a steak. It was topped with fried onions and served with mashed potatoes and I wanted it bad. But I didn’t want to be the only one at the table who ordered a steak. Lucky for me, half the table ordered that beauty and we all nearly cleaned our plates. So, while social attitudes didn’t prevent me from purchasing meat in that situation, the thought crossed my mind.

Meat Substitutes

“More than four in 10 Millennials have consumed meat alternatives in the past 12 months.”

These are the most common meat alternatives: tofu, soy-based meat and texturized vegetable protein. I kind of go back and forth on this one. At first I think, “If I want meat I’m going to eat meat – not a non-meat alternative.” And then I remember my work snack: almonds. While nuts are not listed above as a meat alternative, they are an alternate protein source. I eat about a handful of almonds every day (the amount of handfuls correlates with the extent of my workload). I know I need protein to stay alert during the day and on top of ever-changing social media trends!

While we’re a group defined by our birthdays, tech savviness and binge watching of Netflix, these survey results can help you better understand how to speak to us about meat. And if done successfully, who knows – your product could end up as the subject of an Instagram post #nofilter.

To get the full scoop on the Millennials vs. Baby Boomers study, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 in the Shelby Report, or get the video recap from Michael here. For more Millennial perspective, just leave me a comment!

 

 

Millennials, Boomers and Meat: A Closer Look

We’ve all heard so much about Millennials, you might think you already know everything there is to know about them.  But if you’re still trying to get inside the head of this enigmatic species, we’ve got some intel that can help you engage this elusive target and sell more fresh meat.

millennials at the meat case

There’s good reason the media has been advising you to pay attention to this consumer segment — Millennials number 75 million strong and know how to make themselves heard.

At Midan, it was only natural that we wanted to learn more about their meat eating habits.  But we also wanted to understand them in context:  how do they purchase meat compared to other consumers?   We decided to study Millennials alongside that other influential generation impacting the meat case in a big way: Baby Boomers.  Millennials have been getting all the attention lately, but it’s the Boomers that have all the money – don’t underestimate their buying power!

Midan conducted an online study with 425 Millennials and 400 Boomers in May 2016. We asked questions about their meat consumption, preferences and attitudes toward meat and health.

The research results confirmed what we already suspected:  Millennials and Boomers have differing perceptions and purchasing behaviors when it comes to meat.  And while both groups offer enormous opportunities for the meat industry, they also present a challenge:  How do you address their differences and customize your marketing to ensure that you are effectively reaching both segments?

Here are a few research findings that point out some of the disparities between Millennials and Boomers:

  • Millennials spend more per month on meat, but Boomers buy more fresh meat:  In an average month, Millennials spend significantly more on meat than Boomers ($162 vs. $93, respectively).  This isn’t surprising, considering that Millennials tend to have larger households with growing families and purchase proportionally more prepared meat.(Prepared meat accounts for about 44% of Millennial meat purchases, vs. 22% of Boomer meat purchases.)

     
    Boomers purchase significantly more fresh/unprepared meat (78%) than Millennials (56%). These percentages indicate that there is plenty of opportunity to engage Millennials to capture more of their meat dollars at the fresh meat case too.

  • Millennials are less committed to meat than Boomers are, especially when it comes to health:  Despite the fact that more than half of the Millennials surveyed agreed that “nothing is as satisfying as eating a good steak, 38% of Millennials are willing to give up taste for a balanced diet (vs. 20% of Boomers) and 29% of Millennials said that it would be much healthier for them to eliminate meat from their diet (vs. only 10% of Boomers).  These numbers suggest that it’s easier for Millennials to walk away from meat, and that big long-term benefits can be gained by educating them about the health and nutrition benefits of lean meat.
  • Millennials are more easily influenced about their meat choices than Boomers: 33% of Millennials believe that that meat is becoming less socially acceptable (vs. 13% of Boomers) and in a social setting are much more likely than Boomers to adjust their meat consumption to align with the group (30% vs. 6%, respectively).  The fact that Boomers tend to be set in their ways and have their minds made up works in the meat industry’s favor here; however, it appears there needs to be a lot more courting of Millennials to generate loyalty around the value of meat.

While these stats are just a glimpse into the differences between Millennial and Boomer meat eating habits, they clearly reveal opportunities for the meat industry.  If you want Millennials to buy more fresh meat, you can’t market to them the same way you do Boomers – and this research helps explain why.  The best plan of attack is to create education and marketing programs tailored to each group, so that you can maximize opportunities within each segment.

Learn more in The Shelby Report:  Part 1 and Part 2

2015 Recap: Pay attention to these 3 things

When the calendar hits December 1, it’s time to start checking to see if we made the “nice” list or not! (I have confirmed my status…how about you!?!)  As 2015 comes to a close, we also pause to reflect on the significant events that have shaped our industry this year, and consider how they might impact 2016.   As I look back across the major headlines from the past year, three main themes seem to form:

  1. Prices/Supply – Oh, what a roller coaster ride 2015 has been! Beef prices found new ceilings, pork prices leveled out before taking a nose dive the last few weeks. Was any topic more talked about in the media and meat company board rooms across the country this past year?  The good news is that 2016 is bringing greener pastures, literally, thanks to much-needed rain, so more cows are being retained.  Pork producers are also breathing a sigh of relief that the PEDv outbreak is behind them.  The conditions are ripe for increases in supply with less volatile pricing, and that is something we can all be thankful for!
  1. Niches – We live in a world where specialization is becoming the norm, not the exception, and this trend has resulted in niche meat brands and products that cater to specific lifestyle and dietary needs. For some consumers, antibiotic-free is a trigger; for others, it’s animal welfare. We stopped selling one-size-fits-all meat a while ago, and in 2015 we saw further fragmentation. It will serve us well to figure out which niches are feasible to cater to and then build the brands and products to meet those needs.
  1. Health/Wellness – 2015 brought its share of headlines that tied meat with health, like whether lean meat would still be part of the Dietary Guidelines or the IARC’s report that processed meat causes cancer. But when we’re talking about meat and health, let’s not forget protein. “Protein” is a word we have to continue fighting to own. Meat is the ultimate source of protein, and if you are not calling that out in your consumer messaging, it is time to get on the bandwagon.

As we wrap up 201shutterstock_328379666 (1)5, I encourage you to spend a few minutes thinking of the ramifications of these themes.  In order for us to succeed in 2016, we have to keep our pulse on what consumers are doing and what is influencing their behaviors.  What do you think?  Do you agree with my assessment or did I miss something?  What do you think the main headlines will be in 2016?  I always appreciate your comments.

Cheers to 2016!

photo-credit