According to the USDA, the price of meat for consumers in July 2021 was up nearly 6% over July 2020 prices.2 Meat was already most likely the highest priced item in shoppers’ baskets and having it increase in a time of economic uncertainty can feel like another hit. But meat still has many positives that can make shoppers more comfortable with its lofty price tag, including nutrition, variety and of course, value.
Health & Nutrition
We have all felt the spotlight the pandemic has shone on health – both public and individual health. There is a lot of power in the nutritional platform of meat, which is a story we don’t spend enough time telling. A vast majority of shoppers – 91% – want to see at least one nutrition item highlighted on meat and poultry packaging. More than half say the callout they want to see is how much protein is in each serving.3 Other items – from loaves of bread to Cheerios™ – are including a much louder protein message on their packaging than we are, when protein is our story to tell.
One strength of the meat case is the amount of variety it holds. Between beef, pork, chicken and more — as well as numerous different cuts and their many applications — meat is certainly not a one size fits all meal solution. For consumers looking for a premium option, the meat case delivers. For those on a budget looking for value, there are options. When promoting and merchandising your meat selection, be sure to show different cuts of different proteins in different price ranges.
Offering inspiration for shoppers will also continue to be important. From consumers branching out to try new things (like lamb) to looking for innovative ways to use their leftovers, having resources available continues to add value for the customer. Some great places to share meal and recipe ideas are on-pack, at the meat case, on your website or in promotional emails.
Possibly one of the most important stories to be telling right now is value. Nearly 40% of meat consumers today are looking for convenience and are price-conscious shoppers.5 For many of them, it may be hard to spend $20 on a chuck roast, but easier when they understand that this single piece of meat can feed their family for multiple meals. Many of the great value cuts the meat case offers are also comfort cuts that shoppers can easily cook in their crockpot or other multicooker.
Finally, there is also value in product packaging. Bacon that has a Ziploc®-style opening will have a longer refrigerated shelf life and be less likely to end up as food waste. Case ready packaging is easy for shoppers to freeze, adding value again by lessening what may otherwise be wasted. Ensuring your store has a variety of packaging options for consumer needs can go a long way in helping shoppers find more value at the meat case.
2 USDA Economic Research Service, Changes in Consumer Food Price Indexes, 2019 through 2022, August 25, 2021.
3 Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal, 210 Analytics LLC, The Power of Meat 2021, Report sponsored by Sealed Air Food Care Division/Cryovac® and Published by Food Marketing Institute Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education
4 Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal, 210 Analytics LLC, The Midyear Power of Meat 2020, Report sponsored by Sealed Air Food Care Division/ Cryovac® and Published by Food Marketing Institute Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education
5 Midan Marketing, Meat Consumer Segmentation 2.1, September 2020.
This content originally appeared in The Shelby Report.