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!

Mining Targets for Creative Insights Pays Off

Basic marketing tells us that in order for someone to pay attention to a message, it has to be relevant to them. So how do you make your messages relevant? You get to know your target. You can scream “buy me, buy me” all you want, but when people are exposed to tons of ads a day, you won’t break through unless you strike a nerve with your intended audience.

Here at Midan, in order to develop communications for our clients that are relevant and attention- grabbing, we get to know the needs and wants of the target. We conduct primary research or review secondary research in order to understand how the product or service fits in the target’s life. To me, there is no better way get to know your target than to talk with them face to face. Even if it’s only five minutes in a grocery store, you can learn about who they are as people and what the product means to them. I discovered this firsthand when I conducted consumer intercepts for various clients’ meat brands.

When getting to know a target, the most important question I try to answer is, “What problem does my product or service solve for the target beyond a simple functional benefit?” Great creative thought starters that lead to a compelling message usually lie beyond the functional benefit. If you don’t uncover those unexpected insights that connect the target with the product, often times the creative team is not set up for success. If the creative team doesn’t have those connections, their message will be too broad and won’t directly speak to the target.

A great example of this concept happened when we developed a promotion for Tyson’s Chairman’s Reserve® Premium Meats brand. We conducted in-store interviews and discovered that our core meat-loving target would drive pretty far out of their way to go to a store they knew had better meat. They weren’t willing to settle for what was convenient. They loved higher quality meat and made getting it a priority. This insight led our creative team to the “Never Settle” campaign, which reminded consumers that they shouldn’t ever settle when it comes to the premium beef and pork they are putting on their table.

Digging a little deeper and really connecting with our target audience uncovered a way for us to develop strong creative with spot-on messaging. So even if you think you already know your target, take the time to excavate beyond the surface. You are likely to expose the kind of insights that can lead to a creative gold mine.

GMOs: Fact vs. Fiction

If you’re like me, you’ve begun to notice that the term “GMO” is popping up everywhere.

At Midan, we make it our business to be aware of the concerns consumers have about the food they eat. Our Market Research Team conducts research on emerging trends when we see them begin to mainstream. Once I hear certain buzz words at school drop-off where moms are gathered, I know for sure it’s time to start thinking about researching the topic. I knew that questions about GMOs weren’t going away anytime soon, and I figured they would probably grow once I saw the popularity of the new documentary GMO OMG on social media. This well-done documentary chronicles a father’s quest to get answers about GMOs.

Midan conducted focus groups in Chicago among people aware of the term GMO and fielded an online quantitative survey on the topic. We will be releasing some of those results later this month. People are pretty uneasy; they don’t truly understand what GMO really means, beyond playing back the words “genetically modified organism.” The focus group conversation reminded me a lot of how people talked about growth hormones and antibiotics in past research we have conducted.

Keep your eyes peeled for our research. In the meantime, take a look at these great articles debunking GMO myths in mainstream publications:

The New Yorker: Debate over GMO labeling 

Forbes: Results of large-scale GMO study 

Today’s Natural vs. Organic Fresh Meat Consumer

Two years ago, we launched our Consumers’ Case market research platform. This research is our ongoing effort to help the meat industry stay in-tune with the ever-changing consumer. Our Market Research Team is continuously analyzing changes in consumer attitudes and behavior in an effort to determine how those changes will directly affect the meat case. Our goal is to identify opportunities to help the meat industry capitalize on shifts in consumer behavior.

As part of the Consumers’ Case platform, today we’re launching the results of Today’s Natural vs. Organic Fresh Meat Consumer. This research takes a deep dive into who is purchasing natural and organic meat products, their perceptions of the category and the factors that are driving purchases.

The reason we chose natural and organic meat as our next Consumers’ Case topic is that we continue to see a huge void in relevant information on this topic as it relates to fresh meat. There are several resources that regularly report on natural and organic products, but very little is actually reported for fresh meat. We haven’t been able to find answers to the questions we’ve had or those that we’ve been asked by our clients, so we decided to conduct a study ourselves.

If you have a natural and/or organic program or are thinking about offering products in this category, this research report will help you better understand your target consumer, and the best ways to engage and educate them.  This is the first research report focused specifically on natural and organic fresh meat products. For this research we looked at natural meat users separate from organic meat users, and also looked at three specific proteins for each:  beef, pork and chicken.

The number of natural meat products offered at retail continues to grow. Organic meats continue to account for a relatively small but growing percentage of total meat sales. We see continued strong growth for both these products categories in the future. Understanding purchasers of natural and or organic meat will help you better market your products to your current consumers, and also better communicate with potential new customers.

Please check out this new research and let me know your thoughts. You can purchase the report by going to our website, MidanMarketing.com. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email me directly m.uetz@midanmarketing.com. I hope you enjoy this latest installment of Midan’s Consumers’ Case market research.

My first few months at Midan

It’s been about four months since I started working at Midan Marketing. How could I have ever imagined working with a team of professionals who are not only extremely smart about meat and how to promote it, but are genuine, committed and an absolute pleasure to work with? Looks like I finally have my dream job!

I pretty much hit the ground running my first week at Midan. I got to dig in on a brand tracking study, getting the most value and quality for our client, keeping the details intact. A qualitative project was already underway so it was a new experience for me to understand a unique method for getting consumer feedback. At the end of the first few weeks, I have to admit the most fun I had was working on a proprietary Midan project called Manfluence, thinking about men grocery shopping and cooking! [Read more…]

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