Tomorrow’s Meat Consumer: Are You Ready?

I recently had the honor of presenting at the 2018 World Meat Congress (WMC) in Dallas on June 1. Hosted by The International Meat Secretariat and the U.S. Meat Export Federation, WMC brought together more than 700 meat industry leaders from 40 countries to discuss the wide-ranging, complex issues impacting meat production across the globe.

My charge was to pinpoint the ways that today’s meat consumers, more demanding and discerning than ever, are driving the trends that are disrupting the industry. Here are the action steps I shared that can help us get ready for (and stay one step ahead of!) tomorrow’s meat eaters:

  1. Drill Down: It’s more critical than ever that we get to the bottom of what makes today’s meat consumers tick. Segmenting and targeting are essential to determine your customers’ values and purchase drivers in order to meet their diverse needs.
    • Due to increasingly different approaches to meat consumption, customization will play an expanding role in product development, sales and marketing. According to the 2018 Power of Meat Study, the “one size fits all” approach must transition to “one size fits one.”
  2. Think Globally: World demographic shifts in population growth, aging, urbanization and the rising middle class will dramatically alter the face of the globe in the coming decades. The balance of international power will also swing:
    • By 2030, Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of gross domestic product, population size and technological investment.
  3. Stand Your Ground: Meat will continue to face threats from alternate protein sources, including the growing number of plant-based and lab-grown products; however, protein is still one of meat’s greatest selling points, and the industry must loudly proclaim the nutritional benefits of meat in order to reclaim ground lost to other protein sources.
    • Today’s meat eaters have an evolving relationship with meat. More than 60% of fresh meat eaters report eating non-meat protein as the “center of the plate” item once to several times per week, according to a 2014 Midan Custom NPD Survey.
  4. Collaborate to Educate: When the meat industry works together, everyone benefits. Universal, “big picture” issues, like sustainability or nutrition, are better tackled by establishing industry-wide standards and/or messages that offer clear guidance to consumers.
    • Recent research by Midan Marketing revealed that only 47% of fresh beef consumers could provide any definition for sustainably raised beef. This is an opportunity to work together so that sustainability doesn’t go the way of the “natural” claim, where multiple industry definitions confused consumers so much that they no longer perceive the value of “natural” products.
  5. Embrace Change: While disruptions to the meat industry can initially wreak havoc, they also offer opportunities for significant advancement.
    • New technology like blockchain and robotics have the capability to revolutionize production, while consumer-driven shifts like the e-commerce boom and rise of alternate proteins are compelling the meat industry to rethink how to more effectively market and merchandise meat products.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how meat consumers are evolving—please leave a comment!

Top Six Meat Industry Trends

The Midan Team at the 2018 NAMI
Meat Industry Summit

There’s a saying in the Midan office: “What got us here, won’t get us there.” It’s a reminder that we need to keep our game sharp to compete in the ever-evolving meat industry. It was in that same vein that my partner Danette Amstein and I presented the top meat industry trends at the 2018 North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Meat Industry Summit in San Antonio in April. When the finish line is always moving, keeping your eye on these macro trends is one way to set yourself up for success in 2020 and beyond:

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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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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.

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