Trend Watch: The Power of Meat Study

Trend Watch: The Power of Meat Study

March 31, 2021
Annette Maggi

By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

In the retail industry, trend watching doesn’t just happen at the start of a new year. It’s a constant activity. During the Annual Meat Conference earlier this month, results of the most recent Power of Meat study where shared. Here are insights from the study and related opportunities for retail healthy living programs.

Insight: Meat and poultry are popular, with sales increasing 19.2% in dollars and 11% in volume. Household penetration is at 98.4% for meat and poultry.

  • Retail H&W Opportunity: Recipe fatigue is a common complaint for consumers these days, making the opportunity for fresh ideas and new uses of meat and poultry a key opportunity. In cook-alongs and media segments, pull the consumer just slightly out of their comfort zone with new recipes. Promote “cook once, eat twice” recipes allowing shoppers to take advantage of price advantages of larger meat pack sizes. Quick tutorials on “use by” dates and how to freeze meat and poultry will be appreciated by your shoppers.

Insight: Shopper hyper focus on health and wellness during the pandemic is translating into the meat case, with 71% of consumers seeking options they believe are better-for-you. 

  • Retail H&W Opportunity: Partner with meat, poultry, and seafood buyers to feature lean cuts in promotions and displays. Create nutrition guardrails or establish goals for a percentage of healthier options in prepared and deli main dish meats. Feature flavor pairings of healthier cuts of meat with vegetables and whole grains as meal solution ideas for shoppers.

Insight: Meat and poultry are categories where consumers care about sustainability. Nearly 50% of consider sustainability when shopping the meat category, seeking options that are better for the planet (34%), better for ranchers (29%), and animals (27%). 

  • Retail H&W Opportunity: Partner with vendors to capture their work and commitments on the sustainability front. Consider joint video segments, showcasing how they care for their animals and the environment. Assess current in-store signage – of the opportunity to add it – highlighting local ranchers who supply your stores.

Insight: About 40% of shoppers shopped differently in the meat department, with 42% of this group buying different types of meat and/or poultry, 40% selecting different cuts, and 45% choosing alternate brands. 

  • Retail H&W Opportunity: While consumers have long been in a rut of selecting those cuts they are familiar with and know how to cook, consumers’ willingness to select new cuts creates exciting opportunities for retail dietitians. Consider short “cut of the week” videos in social media. Provide substitution ideas on how leaner, healthier cuts can be used in family favorite comfort food recipes.