Top Meat Industry Headlines of 2017

Oh 2017—what a news-filled, exciting year you have been!

Here at Midan we work hard to stay on top of news and trends in the meat industry. As this year wraps up, I wanted to reflect with you on some of 2017’s prominent trends that we believe will impact 2018.

  1. The Evolution of Retail: It has been a big year for retailers — no one can deny that. This year, retailers have moved at a fast-pace to keep up with consumer trends and the demand for convenience. Retail consolidation is a trend that started some time ago and continues to gain momentum. Major retailers like Kroger have purchased smaller specialty grocers—and we can’t forget the $13.7 billion check Amazon wrote to add Whole Foods to its portfolio. These changes in strategic posturing require retailers to pause and give thought to how they will continue to differentiate themselves. Many are focusing on the areas of consumer convenience: online ordering, curbside delivery and in-home delivery, as well as creating their own meal solutions.
     
    Outlook for 2018: Expect more posturing, more niche playing and more convenience for consumers.
     
    Dive deeper with these articles:

  2. Keeping REAL Meat on the Menu: Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are both alternative (meat) protein products that are working hard to steal meat’s share at the center of the plate. Memphis Meats, meat built inside of a lab, is working hard to do the same. Based on the significant investments these products have received from big-name business moguls and celebrities, it is likely this trend will continue. Non-meat diet trends and concepts like Reducetarian (not eliminating, but reducing one’s intake of meat) are grabbing the attention of consumers. It is our job as an industry to continue to tell our stories, be transparent, educate consumers about what concerns them – whether that be animal welfare or the nutritional value of meat — and defend our position in the center of the plate.
     
    Outlook for 2018: The big-bucks-backed push to shift “real” meat off the plate will continue and gain traction.
     
    Dive deeper with these articles:

  3. China Opens the Door for U.S. Beef: After 14 years China finally re-opened its doors to U.S. beef. This news is exciting for the U.S. meat industry because China is a key export market. There are new rules and export guidelines and many key players didn’t waste any time getting their beef qualified and shipped to the biggest population on earth. This is an historical event and a huge economic opportunity for U.S. packers. I applaud those that have stepped up their game to take advantage of it.
     
    Outlook for 2018: More consumers getting a taste of U.S. beef means more opportunities…assuming North Korea behaves.
     
    Dive deeper with these articles:

  4. A Niche Market Gains Traction: Grass-fed beef makes up a really small percentage of meat sales but it is a growing trend that doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. This niche market is important to keep an eye on: consumers are demanding it in both the retail and foodservice channels. It is in the meat industry’s best interest to make sure consumers are aware of the benefits of both grass-fed and grain-fed beef and not insinuate that one is superior to the other.
     
    Outlook for 2018: More grass-fed beef will be imported to try to meet demand, while some consolidation of the brands will occur to create steady supplies.
     
    Dive deeper with these articles:

  5. Sustainability: Gotta admit, this one has been hard for all of us to get our heads around. Ask 10 people what sustainability is and you will get 10 different answers. This past summer Michael and I shared research on the topic at the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB). Bottom line of the research: Without a standardized industry-wide definition, consumers won’t understand the value of sustainably raised meat and ultimately won’t be willing to pay for it…not to mention the fact that we run the risk of too many different definitions diluting the meaning and value long term. Hats off to USRSB for working to develop a definition for the industry. Now adoption becomes key.
     
    Outlook for 2018: Consumer concern for sustainability will continue to grow, bringing more attention to the sustainable practices of the meat industry.
     
    Dive deeper with these articles:

Do you have additional thoughts about 2017? Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

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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Everything Old is New Again: Trends from NRA 2017

Maggie with chef Curtis Stone

Sometimes the more you look back, the further ahead you can see. This was certainly the case for the exhibiting meat companies at this year’s National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show. They demonstrated that the U.S. meat industry is staying “Ahead of the Crave” by returning to time-honored traditions that bring out the very best in our products. And the local hotspots in Chicago are completely in sync with this movement, with over-the-top meals that make us remember why we love meat.

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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.

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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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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:

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