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Why You Should Care About Segmentation Research

Rick Lowe

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I know – you’re expecting a dry and stat-heavy blog about market research. But you’re only half right (I’m a research guy, of course I want to talk about research!), because what I am about to share is very exciting since it centers on the single most dynamic element in the meat channel: the meat consumer.

If you’re in the meat business and you’re not zeroed in on the end consumer as your ultimate driver every single day, then I submit you’re focused on the wrong thing. At Midan, our whole world revolves around getting inside the head of meat consumers: How do they operate in their natural habitat? As part of that process, two years ago we conducted a groundbreaking segmentation study of meat consumers where we established a baseline of six core consumer segments and determined how each of the groups viewed and purchased meat. For a research junkie like me, this is fascinating stuff. I’ve been involved in conducting market research for more than 20 years in a variety of industries and I’ve seen a lot of companies claim that they want segmentation; however, most are unsure of what it actually means.

So first, what is “Segmentation”? Segmentation is the practice of dividing your customer base into groups of potential buyers that have similar preferences and buying habits. Through our understanding of how different segments of meat consumers shop for and purchase meat, we’ve been able to help our clients do things like refine messaging for their target shopper and identify gaps in their brand portfolio. Take my word on this — nothing makes a researcher happier than real-world, bottom-line applications of meaningful data!

But of course, what makes consumers so interesting is that they are always changing. The U.S. consumer market is significantly different today compared to just few years ago. There are more generations and more ethnic groups in the U.S. than ever before. This age/ethnicity diversity is impacting food consumption across the board and meat consumption in particular.

To keep up with these changes, Midan is repeating its segmentation study to not only confirm that our original six segments are still relevant, but also dig deeper into how different claims (i.e., grass-fed beef and plant-based meat alternatives) are gaining market share in the meat case and how newer generations of meat eaters like Millennials and Gen Zs are influencing those purchases.

I am leading the charge on the Segmentation 2.0 study (it’s already under way) and I can’t wait to see what we’ll learn. And while you might not be a research lover like I am, you can’t deny the value of drilling down and capturing everything we can about the most powerful, fascinating person in the meat industry: today’s consumer.

We’ll be ready to share insights from the study in time for the Annual Meat Conference, so visit our website at the beginning of March to download the Segmentation 2.0 Executive Summary.