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!

Topics that Shaped 2016

At Midan, it is our job to pay attention to what is happening in the meat industry and beyond. Each week we comb the headlines, not only to keep up-to-date, but to identify patterns that could become trends that impact our industry. As we look back at the past year, a few prominent themes emerge that are likely to continue to require our attention in 2017.

Millennials: The challenge is different with this generation – we simply can’t lump them into a nice, neat category. After all, these “kids” have redefined individualism! One thing is certain: they are a large population force to be reckoned with and their impact has led to shifts in how businesses market to them. Millennials grew social media, heightened consumer consciousness about issues like sustainability and led the charge for clean labels, all while demanding bold flavors and convenient meal options. Complicated? Yes! Worth the effort? You bet!

Want to learn more about Millennials? Check out Michael’s blog on meat-specific Millennial research that we released this year and get additional insight from these articles:

Clean Labels: “Free From,” “Does Not Include” and “No <insert here>” – You are familiar with these kinds of claims because many of you make them. We have evolved from touting USDA grade to branded meat products to branded meat products that differentiate themselves with key attributes. Most of these attributes now focus on what is not in the product.

“Natural” as a claim is losing staying power with beef, but not so much with other proteins, according to Nielsen data. Claims such as “Antibiotic-Free” and “Minimally Processed” have seen significant growth:  antibiotic-free beef sales for the 52 weeks ending 8/27/16 were $321 million. The numbers prove this is more than a fad.

If you are in the beef business and not talking about what to do with your “natural” labels, it’s time. If you are in the prepared business and aren’t removing words consumers don’t understand from your ingredient list, it’s time. If you are a retailer, take note of how you describe what is in your meat case. If you are a chef, it’s time to add to your next round of menus.

Read more about the impact of clean labels:

GMOs:  As a meat industry, we have (for the most part) been able to sit on the sidelines and watch this one unfold. Turns out the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) unveiled two years’ worth of review and proclaimed, “There is no evidence that GMOs are risky to eat.” This declaration did not stop consumers or Congress. Sales of non-GMO food products have soared in the past four years and aren’t showing signs of slowing…yet. Lawmakers brought forth new regulations on how GMOs should be labeled. Although the bill (penned after NAS’s proclamation) exempts foods where meat and poultry are the main ingredients, we still need to keep our eye on it.

This issue is really about something much bigger than GMOs. It is about transparency and consumer trust, and how easy it is to lose one without the other. Whatever the next hot topic is for the meat industry, we need to be prepared to leave the safety of the sidelines and respond.

Read more about 2016 GMO news:

Social Media:  Don’t groan! We need to talk about it, because social media has exploded beyond just B2C.  Marketing is about relationships and it turns out both customers and consumers are …wait for it…human! Marketing is moving to more of a “human-to-human” (H2H) philosophy. So whether you participate in the social media world or not, your customers and your consumers do. If you want them to know about you, you’ve gotta be where they are. Period.

adult-social-media-users
Not sure where to start with social media?  Get tips from a variety of helpful blogs in our archives.

Read more about the social media explosion:  

Got other 2016 topics that should be on this list?  Please leave me a comment – I always love to hear from you!

About the author:
As a Principal of Midan Marketing, Danette is always thinking strategically about how to move the meat industry forward. Her lifelong love for the meat industry began on her family’s farm in Kansas and continues today in her passionate work for meat clients. Midan provides integrated marketing strategies, branding programs, digital media platforms, creative communications, public relations and market research services designed to help make meat more relevant to consumers. 

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