How to Spot an Aging Idealist

Diana (r) with her sister Patty, the Aging Idealist

This blog is the final in our series detailing each of six distinct meat consumer segments from our recent Meat Consumer Segmentation research.

My sister and I have always been very different. She likes the heat, I like the cold. She likes spicy foods, I like sweet foods. So after learning that I am a Wavering Budgeteer, I was curious to see what category she fell into.

Turns out my sister is an Aging Idealist. They make up 13% of the meat-eating consumer population. While Patty enjoys a good deal as well as the next person, it’s not the only criterion for purchases and can get tossed right out the window if she really wants it. (I will forfeit a much wanted item for cost – her, never!) If she knows the meat is a product of the United States and the brand cares about sustainability, she will purchase it regardless of price.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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AMC 2016 Top 10

Midan_team_AMC_2016

As a team, Midan’s focus at AMC 2016 was to listen and learn.  We took pages and pages of notes, capturing stats, quotes and key findings.  Back at the office, we sifted through all the content and created our own long list of the most important takeaways.  Here’s what we think were the top 10.  If you were there, let us know if you agree.  If you didn’t attend, but have questions, please reach out – we love to share what we learned!

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Keeping Farmers’ Market Customers Shopping the Meat Case: 5 Tips for Retailers and Packer/Processors

Last month I had the privilege of sharing consumer research that Midan conducted to supplement the Power of Meat presentation during the Annual Meat Conference in Nashville. Our assignment was to shed light on the consumers who are spending more and more of their meat dollars at farmers’ markets.

While these dollars are still a relatively small part of total food expenditures, the growth of farmers’ markets is something we should all sit up and take notice of.  Whenever shoppers are spending their meat dollars outside the grocery store, retailers, packer/processors and branded meat companies lose out.

The farmers’ market shopper demographics are fairly Americana, with one key difference: these consumers have a very strong desire to know where their food comes from.

So how can we make this “farmers’ market mentality” work for retailers and packer/processors?

If these shoppers are more curious about where their meat comes from and what is (and is not) in it, then we need to communicate more clearly and regularly that the meat supplied by packer/processors and sold in the grocery store is every bit as fresh and high quality as the local farm stand. This research points to the importance of sharing the “back story” of fresh meat, so that consumers can buy meat with confidence.

So, what can you do to keep farmers’ market shoppers at the retail meat case?

  1. Tell your story

If you are selling a branded program, you have some kind of story to tell shoppers. It may not include specific farmers from a certain region. Rather, it may be more focused on why your specifications provide consumers with the eating experience they are looking for. And your story doesn’t have to be long – short and concise is all that shoppers have time for at the meat case. Sharing your story tells these shoppers that you care and are working to deliver what they want.

  1. Share the facts

Simple signs like this can go a long way in building a relationship with shoppers.

  1. Explain “fresh”

Freshness is the #1 reason consumers shop at farmers’ markets. But the meat sold in supermarkets is just as fresh. I find it a bit perplexing that we don’t really promote “fresh” at the meat case. Even vacuum-packaged and case ready products are “fresh.” It may be time to explain the major industry efforts taken to keep the meat supply fresh.

  1. Rethink those clean store policies.

I get why retailers want to minimize clutter to maximize the meat customers see. While a clear view of the sea of beef, pork and chicken is important, the pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction. More and more shoppers want some background about the meat being displayed in the case, and sharing information at point-of-sale is becoming more critical in capturing these consumers.

  1. It isn’t only about “local”

The desire for fresh, along with assurance that the animals the meat came from were well-cared-for, is huge for farmers’ market meat purchasers. These shoppers gravitate to the farmers’ market because they want to “feel good” about their purchases. But this desire to “feel good” can also be addressed in a large supermarket with meat from national packer/processors. While the buy local” movement is big in this country, shoppers know that growing cattle, pigs and chickens can’t always happen locally.

We in the industry know that the majority of animals are well-cared-for by the farmers/ranchers raising them. But consumers generally don’t see those messages of happy animals; rather, they see the vivid videos provided by activist organizations that want to defile animal agriculture.

Packer/processors, here is a great opportunity to work with your retail customers to share the positive story of all that is done to ensure a great-tasting, safe food supply from well-cared-for animals. It will help you and your customer instill confidence in those shoppers who care and expect you to care as well.

Want to learn more about farmers’ market shoppers? Check out this infographic.

AMC Top 10 Blog

At Midan, we’re always looking for the “golden nugget.” In Midan-speak, that’s the “ah hah” moment, the light bulb realization, the kernel of truth that resonates when we learn something new. There was no shortage of golden nugget learnings at AMC this year, and we are excited to share some of our team’s top takeaways:AMC team photo

1. Meat is losing steam with youngsters

– 60% of Millennials believe they can get their daily allowance of protein without eating meat (Anne-Marie Roerink, Power of Meat Presentation)

2. Sodium is on consumers’ radar

– Sodium has taken over 1st place from total fat as the most scanned nutritional value on labels (Anne-Marie Roerink, Power of Meat Presentation)

3. The more space retailers dedicate to value-added meat, the more successful they will be

– Higher-performing retailers allocate 30% (vs. 10%) of the meat case to value- added meat, to achieve 2.2 times the sale velocity (Steven Ramsey and Chris DuBois, IRI)

4. Provide a mid-week meal solution

– Wednesday and Thursday are the most unplanned meal days (Steven Ramsey and Chris DuBois, IRI)

5. Consumers love grocerants

– Consumers rank four supermarkets (Wegmans, Whole Foods, Publix and Trader Joe’s) among the top overall foodservice experiences (Wade Hanson, Technomic, Inc.)

6. US meat production IS sustainable

– The US meat production system is the most practical and efficient system in the world (Maureen Ogle, author of In Meat We Trust)

7. Americans LOVE to talk about food

– 25% of all social conversations are about food and drink, so consider how you can engage consumers to make your brand part of the chatter (Bradley Nix, Brand Chorus)

8. Meat is unfairly under attack

– The health benefits of eating more meat are being dismissed (Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise)

9. U.S. export markets are critical for the meat industry

– Asian markets are especially important for US premium meat exports (Randy Blach, CattleFax & Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc.)

10. Red meat might be out, but alcohol is in?

– Proposed 2015 Nutrition Guidelines recommend limiting meat consumption from a health and sustainability standpoint, but indicate that moderate alcohol intake can be part of a healthy diet. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that none of the committee members are food or environmental scientists (Susan Backus, Vice President, North American Meat Institute Foundation)

Let us know your thoughts! Any key learnings you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

2015 AMC: THE Place to be for Meat Industry Professionals

It’s hard to believe the Annual Meat Conference begins this weekend.  As a planning committee member and someone who cares very deeply about this industry, I’m personally excited for this year’s conference as there are many issues to tackle with meat industry leaders, and many faces to meet and greet.

It’s no secret that our industry has plenty going on, as terms like sustainability, Dietary Guidelines, price elasticity and social media become more relevant every day.  The committee has set the bar pretty high for this year’s conference to address these issues and many more, and deliver an outstanding meeting.

The Annual Meat Conference is the one meeting of the year where our industry gets together to learn about and discuss broad relevant topics while sampling the best meat products out there! The 2 ½ days go by very quickly – make sure you don’t miss out on the following.

  • Education and Discussion: Conference speakers are ready to update you on hot industry topics like natural and organic, value-added meats, foodservice trends and food safety. This year’s workshops are designed to be both timely and comprehensive, to help you better understand the issues and opportunities facing the industry. Keynotes this year include John Rand of Kantar Retail, who will provide some thoughts on the significance of the meat department to overall retail strategy, and Neil Stern from Ebeltoft USA/McMillanDoolittle, who is set to provide us with a visual tour of retail and meat trends from around the world. This year we’re also fortunate to hear from the authors of two best-selling books: The Big Fat Surprise and Meat in America: Past, Present, Future.
  • The Power of Meat: Anne-Marie Roerink will once again share the 2015 Power of Meat (POM) research results that are always chock full of things you need to know about the ever-changing consumer. During the POM session, you’ll also hear my partner, Danette Amstein, share consumer insights and implications about a growing market and potential competitor for our meat departments, Farmers’ Markets.
  • Networking and Relationship Building: Every year, the Midan team looks forward to this conference because it offers the single best opportunity to network with people from all areas of our industry and get up-to-speed on the latest happenings. Additionally, the technology solutions booths were combined with the product tasting event this year, to merge into one big networking event. So you can taste all of the new products while chatting with vendors about technology.

I’m looking forward to seeing you in Nashville! Have a voice, get involved, connect with other meat industry professionals and take advantage of the Best in Meat on One Plate.

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