Client:NCBA, with funding through
The Beef Checkoff and
the National Pork Board

How do you make the meat case less confusing to consumers? Today’s consumers admit they are confused about fresh meat cuts, and as a result they tend to only purchase the 3-4 cuts they’re most familiar with preparing at home. The National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program wanted to turn this challenge into an opportunity to drive meat department sales by helping consumers be more confident when shopping for fresh meat.

Both organizations agreed Midan’s industry and fresh meat consumer expertise made us the best choice to lead such an effort. As the project facilitator, we enlisted the help of reputable research companies to assist in conducting extensive research.* We asked consumers to identify what, specifically, would help them better understand the beef and pork cuts they see every day at the meat case.

*While we have a fully capable Market Research Team, our Creative Communication Team happens to also be in an agency of record relationship with the National Pork Board, so we wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable with how the research was conducted.


This research included multi-city focus groups, one on one interviews, cutting edge in-store and in-lab eye tracking research and an online quantitative study.

The results of the research indicated that today’s consumers, across all demographics and generations, are confused when it comes to purchasing fresh meat.


  • say that current cut naming standards use long and unappealing industry terms, and there is a lack of consistency across all channels.
  • focus on the part of the name that’s familiar to them and use that to help inform their purchase. Most have no idea what the sub-primal or primal terms mean.
  • don’t feel knowledgeable enough to purchase and prepare new cuts of fresh meat. Their fear of incorrectly preparing it causes them to stick to cuts of meat they know.


The Solution: Midan helped develop an aligned perspective regarding on-pack labeling best practices and a revised Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards (URMIS) nomenclature that was consumer-tested and reviewed by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Industry-wide Cooperative Meat Identification Standards Committee (ICMISC).

The two-pronged on-pack solution includes:

   • Simplified cut names.

   • Use and preparation information.

The National Pork Board and Beef Checkoff Program are working with the key retailers to implement the new names across the nation.