Transparency is the easier part of this puzzle for the industry and consumers to understand. Over 60% of consumers say they like to know where their food comes from and more than half of shoppers believe transparency around how and where the animal was raised and processed is important.1 The segment of meat consumers who base their purchase decisions around transparency is smaller, but far from insignificant. From the Midan Marketing Meat Consumer Segmentation research, Protein Progressives are the younger, more Flexitarian-leaning consumer who really value transparency in the supply chain. They make up 20% of meat consumers today.2 It’s important to remember that these consumers are some of the most likely to leave meat behind in favor of alternatives if we don’t address their concerns.
Ultimate transparency comes in the form of traceability – the ability to trace a product from its final form as meat back through the supply chain to learn details about the animal’s life. Right now, the industry hasn’t reached a consensus on how we do this. Third-party verification audits are popular, both in the U.S. and abroad. Blockchain is also a traceability method that is hot right now and has even been adopted by industry giant JBS.
Every day, it is our job to give consumers permission to continue to enjoy our product. And that means listening in on issues like traceability and transparency that only a small segment of consumers is vocal about right now. Because while it may be 20% of consumers today, more of tomorrow’s consumers will expect their meat to come with assurances about who, where and how this meat was made, as well as the animal it comes from.
Throughout the year, Midan Marketing will continue to bring insights from the perspective of the consumer on some of today’s most discussed topics in the meat industry.
2 Midan Marketing, Meat Consumer Segmentation 2.1, September 2020.
This content originally published in the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s members-only newsletter Paradigm.