Today’s shoppers are diversifying their grocery destinations and demand more transparency about several aspects of the food they buy. That is according to the 2017 analysis of Food Marketing Institute’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends. It goes on to say that shopper’s values and priorities around nutrition are continuing to evolve. What once was a focus on food as fuel has now turned into “an experience that matters.”
While it is no secret that people have a more emotional connection to food today, keeping up with this evolution in not always easy. Consumers view food as part of their personal identity. What they eat reflects who they are and the values they care about.
Mainstream issues among consumers, particularly millennials, include sustainability, traceability, and local and ethical sourcing. Over the years, farmers have responded to these consumers’ changing needs. Some of these have been met by advancements in farming methods and technology that can be viewed as adding more precision to the care of animals and the environment. In the end, the most enduring farmer value that seems to resonate, however, is the commitment U.S. farmers have to produce safe, nutritious products in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Farmers have become the new celebrity chef. They have become the storytellers of where their food comes from and how it is produced. Pig farmers fit neatly into this new paradigm. More than ever, pig farmers have access to many tools and resources to better care for their animals while meeting consumer demands. These advancements have helped make the U.S. pork supply safer and more nutritious than at any time in our nation’s history. Pig farmers take pride in the progress they have made and are working hard every day to be transparent about how they raise pigs while demonstrating how they manage their farms responsibly.
Because of the commitment pig farmers have to continuous improvement, today’s pork is a very nutritious and versatile protein. Seven of the most common cuts of pork have, on average, 16 percent less fat and 27 percent less saturated fat than 26 years ago. This allows for endless opportunities providing a safe and nutritious product to consumers and helps to motivate customers to think about fresh, lean pork. This has helped lead to increased fresh pork sales and has boosted overall confidence in retail pork products.
The unpredictable state of the marketplace demands a strategy to help transform a retailer from, just a store, to an ally. By connecting shopper’s values with that deeper connection to the food they are purchasing – understanding how pig farmers are committed to raising a safe and nutritious product – can help set you apart from others when it comes to pork products. Varying levels of transparency can help retailers better connect consumers with the broader context of their food and where it comes from. A retailer that demonstrates easy access to relevant information, clear quality standards, proactivity and accountability can help retain customer loyalty.
In today’s complex food system, shoppers are looking for more honest and clear answers from retailers about their food. Improving transparency that engages consumers and makes them feel safe about the food they are purchasing, such as pork, can build that consumer-retailer relationship you need. Meanwhile, it can make you, as a retailer, the consumer’s ally in their pursuit of health and wellness.
Connect with your local pork producers today! For additional healthy pork, recipes visit http://www.porkbeinspired.com/.