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Top Findings Of The Power Of Meat 2013

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The annual Meat Conference, held earlier this week in Nashville, Tenn., and sponsored by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute, has released the top findings of the Power of Meat 2013 study.

1. Decline in home-cooked meals that feature meat or poultry—Driven by both the quest to save and health and wellness efforts looking for protein variety, the number of home-cooked meals featuring meat or poultry declined to 3.6 per week, down from 4.1. In the same time period, the total number of home-cooked meals remained stable.

2. Price and value remain important—Pre-trip and in-store research to compare prices and value continue to lead the meat and poultry purchasing decision. However, the focus on price is no longer to the extreme degree seen in the past two years, with an easing up on money saving among higher-income shoppers.

3. Household income hugely influences meat/poultry purchases—While demographics, such as age and gender, influence meat purchasing, income has the greatest influence of all. Lower-income shoppers spend less, eat meat and poultry less frequently, are more likely to implement money-saving measures and largely decide based on price. Higher-income shoppers increasingly seek convenience, speed and healthy options.

4. Rising importance of convenience—Consumption of heat-and-eat and ready-to-eat meats increased, particularly among higher-income shoppers. At the same time, the importance of total preparation time rose as a factor in the meat purchasing decision.

5. National brands gain ground—While shoppers continue to display a great degree of flexibility to substitute between brands, species and cuts, a greater share of shoppers reported preferring national brands outright. Store-brand preference remained stable, but the share of undecided shoppers declined.

6. Quick meals that stretch the meat dollar rise in popularity—Shoppers recorded a strong increase in the preparation frequency of under-20-minute meals and one-pot meals over the past five years. Pastas and casseroles noted a strong increase among lower-income households.

7. Package callouts influence purchasing decision—Package callouts are becoming increasingly popular and many have at least some influence on the purchasing decision, led by the USDA beef grading system. Other influential callouts focus on things people wish to avoid (e.g. “steroid-free” and “hormone-free”).

8. Natural and organic continue growth—In a post-recession comeback, the share of shoppers who have purchased natural and/or organic meat/poultry rose to 26 percent, with a particularly high penetration among higher-income shoppers. Supermarkets capture the largest share of sales, with specialty stores losing share over the long term.

9. Cross-merchandising suggestions welcomed—Shopper knowledge of meat and poultry is marginal at best. When not sure how to prepare something, digital resources are the No. 1 source, but shoppers are very open to retailer advice. More shoppers (57 percent frequently or sometimes) are taking up their stores’ product suggestions that complement the meat or poultry purchase, such as marinades, cheese, wine and potatoes.

10. Healthy choices in the meat department remain on backburner—While shoppers agree that nutrition information is readily available in the meat department, most people put only “some” effort into making healthy protein choices. Driven by higher-income shoppers, healthy eating strategies in the meat department increasingly focus on leaner cuts, followed by portion control.

11. Industry report card—Cutting across banners, the highest-rated attributes among supermarkets were quality, cleanliness and variety. Supercenters’ highest marks went to actual availability, cleanliness and everyday prices.


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