In theory, every product that goes into the food supply chain should be created with the end user (the consumer) in mind. And that thinking applies just as much to fresh beef, pork and chicken as it does to ice cream or Goldfish® crackers. Starting with the end in mind means conducting research to understand what is driving today’s meat eaters, so we can create products that align with their needs. To get a true reading of who is buying and eating meat, Midan recently conducted a survey of 1,300 meat consumers to understand their attitudes and behaviors about meat and poultry and then grouped them according to their similarities.
This research, Meat Consumer Segmentation 3.0, yielded a new slate of five consumer segments that reflect today’s meat and poultry shoppers:
- Connected Trendsetters (14%): Meat is their main dish, but they have eclectic tastes. They are interested in all types of proteins. They appreciate novelty and are willing to experiment with different proteins and specialty meat attributes.
- Claim Seekers (24%): They pay careful attention to what they eat. They want meat and poultry that are healthy for their bodies, but also deliver on animal welfare and come from brands/companies that protect the environment and practice sustainable agriculture.
- Convenience Cravers (17%): Due to their busy and active lives they prefer food that is convenient and can be cooked quickly, affordably and on-the-go.
- Committed Carnivores (23%): They enjoy the taste of meat and poultry, and they take pride in cooking from scratch and preparing home-cooked meals for their family but aren’t interested in claims.
- Classic Palates (22%): Meat is the staple of their mealtime routine, and they cannot imagine ever giving up its unique taste. Habit drives their purchase behavior, and they are unwilling to take chances on new cuts or products.
Some of the larger themes that came out of the research were 1) price remains a concern for most meat consumers, 2) convenience is top of mind for many, and 3) interest in plant-based alternatives is waning across the board. And although these three learnings point to universal trends, each meat consumer segment remains very distinct in their behaviors. Some consumers operate primarily on habit and routine while others are excited to experiment with something new. Some are shopping for something quite specific, and others are just looking for the best deal.
No matter where you are in the food production process, you will be more successful if you create products tailored to your specific end users. Our meat consumer segmentation research is a tool that can help packer/processors and retailers understand which segment(s) their target shoppers fall into. Key insights about those segments can help guide new product development, determine where and how to message consumers online, or offer direction about how best to stock the meat case. The end goal is always the same: How can we drill down into what today’s meat consumers want, in order to deliver protein products that keep meat and poultry on the plate?
To learn more about Midan’s Meat Consumer Segmentation 3.0 research or how to incorporate our Segmentation Matching Tool into your own research, click here.
This content was originally published in the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s members-only newsletter Paradigm.