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.

So what does all of this have to do with consumer research? Well, apparently…a lot! Midan recently conducted a study to learn more about the different types of consumer segments in today’s market. According to the Meat Consumer Segmentation survey, I am a Voracious Carnivore. This surprised me as I’ve never considered myself a meat-and-potatoes type of gal. As a millennial, I’m younger than the average age of a Voracious Carnivore, and I am not from a small or rural community. But as I continue to read the segment profile, I realize that I am indeed a Voracious Carnivore.

Our household is motivated to eat more meat because it is easy and quick to prepare. Grilling a few ribeye or NY strip steaks is one of the most satiating meals, especially because clean-up is so minimal. On a regular basis I prepare a lot of chicken or ground beef because they are affordable and versatile for recipes from fajitas to meatballs. I like to keep my pantry and fridge well-stocked with basics so with the addition of protein, I can make a variety of dishes.

I also eat a lot of beef, chicken and pork because it works for my health. Despite my love of pasta and pancakes (really any carb in any format), carbs don’t work well for my waistline. Eating a protein-rich diet helps me not only maintain my weight but feel energized throughout the day. Even when I want to indulge, beef is still on the menu in the form of filet mignon with béarnaise sauce or steak frites with aioli.

To keep my diet on track, I make lists and plan my meals in advance whenever possible. Unlike most Voracious Carnivores, I do a lot of my recipe planning and grocery shopping in advance on my smart phone. However, like my fellow Voracious Carnivores, I have go-to recipes that I use frequently. Despite my routines, I appreciate stores that offer a variety of products in the meat case. I also like stores that value my loyalty and reward it with exclusive promotions or discounts because it helps me keep meat a part of my weekly meals.

Want to know what type of meat consumer segment you’re a part of? Download the FREE Meat Consumer Segmentation Executive Summary to learn more about Voracious Carnivores and its five consumer segment counterparts today!

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.

If you’re hoping to appeal to Selective Foodies like me here are the two biggest ways to do so:

Build Your Brand

Because we’re a family-oriented group who values quality over price, we want to buy products we can depend on, and our devotion to national brands accomplishes that. I didn’t realize what a brand loyalist I was until my rehearsal dinner, when two of my college roommates gave my groom tips for living with me. Making the list was the need to always purchase Aveeno skin products. What can I say…they smell good!

This is also where my Millennial-ism starts showing. My generation likes finding brands they can believe in, like Endangered Species Chocolate, which does a pretty sweet job of turning cravings into philanthropy. What does your brand stand for? What’s your brand story? What are people saying about your brand? If you aren’t asking these questions, now’s the time – because Selective Foodies already are.

Sell the Experience

From community-style seating to farm-to-table décor, the restaurant industry has a strong handle on how to create an interesting dining experience that makes a perfect backdrop for Instagram posts. But a foodie is not exclusively defined by their attraction to trendy restaurants or the hottest new ingredient – again, it’s about the experience.

The Selective Foodies segment indexes high in the South, which comes as no surprise, because if there’s one thing we love in the South, it’s a story – and what’s a story without an experience? If you can illustrate what kind of experience your products offer, whether it’s a nostalgic holiday feast or lively Memorial Day bash, then you’ll get those storytelling wheels turning.

Like I said – it’s never just about putting food on the table. It’s about birthday burgers and a Panthers half-time on the half-shell. It’s watching Friday Night Lights with brisket and Shiner, because “Texas Forever.” It’s brunch with girlfriends and Ben & Jerry’s with my husband.

I could go on and on, but now I’m hungry and want to plan a party.

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.

Since the Meat Consumer Segmentation profile so perfectly pegged me, I read the entire study so I could figure out where my husband landed. He is a Voracious Carnivore. (I guessed that one also.) Growing up in America’s heartland he was brought up on meat and corn so those items play a big part in our weekly meal plan.

So I make my list before I leave the house and once at the store look for in-store promotions that satisfy my budget while appealing to his love of prime rib. Marriage and meal planning are both a balancing act, right?

At the store I pay attention to in-store promotions as I like trying something new but am often deterred by price. A promotion or coupon gets my attention and will often make the difference between whether I purchase the item or not. Here’s where the “wavering” part of the segment comes in: if I’m on the fence, offering me a deal helps me pull the trigger!

I take the time to read product labels so learning about new recipes or reinforcing the importance of good nutrition will often lead me to purchase the product even though it wasn’t on my original list. Getting added value for my money is another way to capture my meat dollars.

Want to know the best way to market to money-conscious Wavering Budgeteers? Those of us in this segment want to feel we are getting a great deal on a purchase. So mailing coupons or printing them in the local paper will bring us in while point-of-sale promotions, especially ones that provide product information as well as good pricing, will lead us to buy.

I enjoyed learning about where I fit into meat consumer segmentation and look forward to nosing around into some of the other segments. Hopefully my training as a reporter and my Wavering Budgeteer personality will help me sniff out a story and a good deal or two.

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?

Saturday morning: start meal planning for the week. The first thing I do is pull out my phone and search Yummly for dinner ideas. (For you non-millennials out there, Yummly is a recipe app that provides recommendations based on your personal preference.) I like trying different recipes with fun flavors, but I tend to stick with the same meats. Once the menu is complete and the shopping list is put together, I don’t grab my keys and head to my local grocery store; instead, I grab my laptop to order my groceries online! “Okay Google, let’s go shopping!” (I love using my voice-activated assistant.)

Ordering groceries online is rather new to me, but it’s awesome. I don’t have to squeeze my way through the narrow aisles or wait in the long lines on an early Saturday morning.

After ordering all of my produce, I click over to the butcher department. When I buy my meat, I don’t focus on prices as much as I do the labels/packaging. I care about the health attributes…is it all-natural, antibiotic-free and, if I’m being honest, does the packaging appeal to me? (I like a package that looks fresh and healthy.) To me, having quality meat at every meal is important, but at times, I’m okay trying a lighter meal with a non-meat protein.

Once I finish ordering my groceries, I select the time that I am able to pick them up. When I get home and I start putting them away, I don’t think twice about putting my meat in the freezer. I know I won’t eat it fast enough and to me, freezing my meat doesn’t take away from the taste.

So how do you market to a millennial Premium Player like me? Start focusing on online shopping. Think of ways you can make your packaging not just appealing in the store, but also online. Highlight the health attributes of your meat, share various ways you can prepare the meat or offer multiple flavor options that will inspire me to add to my routine meat purchases.

Saturday evening: make a delicious meal, curl up on the couch with my cat and binge watch Netflix for the next four hours. (See, I really am a millennial!) 😉

Learn more about Premium Players and the other five meat consumer segments by downloading our free Meat Consumer Segmentation Executive Summary.

If you’d like to chat about the research, please contact Maggie O’Quinn, our New Business Development Director.

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!

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 

My head says OK, my budget says no way…

So you’re thinking about conducting consumer research, but you haven’t pulled the trigger.

You are not alone. As consumer research specialists, we’ve found that many clients have trouble making the leap from considering consumer research to actually doing it. Often, the stumbling block is cost. If you aren’t saying it out loud, you are probably thinking it, “How much did you say this research will cost? That’s more than the price of going to market! We can’t possibly afford that, just forget it.

While you might feel some sticker shock initially, consider the long-term value of the information you can glean about your customers by surveying them. The reality is that without making some investment to talk with and listen to your target audience, you could be missing a huge opportunity.

What can consumer research do for you?

Research sheds the kind of light on consumer behavior that can keep you from blindly taking risks that lead to failure. Customers can make or break a business, so understanding what matters to them is vital. Let their way of thinking guide you. Consumer research can help you:

  • determine market demand for a new product and confirm whether consumers have a real need for what you’re offering.
  • gain insights about a target group about whom you have little or no understanding.
  • gather feedback about new concepts that you are interested in pursuing, so that you can modify your plans or switch gears before it is too late.
  • assess the impact of marketing on product sales at the store level, before a national roll-out.

Make consumer research work for you

Consumers can’t make decisions for your business, but the insights that come from surveying them can help you make informed decisions that have a critical impact on your business.

According to Rich Thoma, vice president of sales and marketing for Yerecic Label, conducting consumer research was one of the smartest decisions his company made for their marketing programs. “Taking new products to market that are supported by consumer research not only brings validity to our products, but also increases our access to potential clients who are hungry to hear from consumers,” says Thoma.

Thoughtfully-conducted consumer research can generate real results, like increased sales. MilkPEP studied consumer reactions to the positioning concept for a new program to increase milk usage, Latte Love, which ultimately drove a 1% increase in milk volume sales. Progresso Soup used consumer research to determine its competitive advantage over other soup brands among the Hispanic population, which lead to targeted messaging that increased both dollar volume and Hispanic-specific dollar volume.

Consumers are not only our targets; they are incredible resources for our industry. Making the investment in consumer research gives you a wealth of knowledge that can translate to real dollars and cents. So if you want to know what consumers think, it’s worth it to ask.

If you’d like to learn more about talking to consumers, please contact Mary Pat Anders at m.anders@midanmarketing.com.

Transforming a vision into reality

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to photography, and I never thought about what goes into a shoot until I started producing them. Producing a photo comes down to two very important things: preparation and detail. It all starts with a vision, and when everything goes according to plan, the vision is realized.

Producing photos is one of the most exciting responsibilities of my job. During a typical photo shoot, I’m running on pure adrenaline (which comes in handy during overnight shoots). Basically, I live for photo shoot days!

[Read more…]

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