Power of Meat 2019 — top 10 food culture trends

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019

Power of Meat 2019 — top 10 food culture trends

Meat and Poultry is a $67 billion category in the US. In March, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, the foundation for the North American Meat Institute, released the 14th annual exploration into how to best optimise meat and poultry’s role in today’s food culture: the way we eat, shop and live.

Called the ‘Power of Meat 2019’, the consumer analysis report suggests that food retailers and their meat supplier partners should align their thinking with the consumer trends.

The top 10 trends identified in the report’s findings include:

1. While typically managed as different departments by the industry, consumers increasingly shop across the full meat offering, from the meat case and counter, to the frozen aisle and deli. Across all departments, convenience-focused meat and poultry saw robust growth in 2018, including value added (+5.1%), fully cooked (+2.5%) and frozen (+2.2%).

2. Four in 10 shoppers buy meat/poultry to last for the next several days, 35% buy more than they need to freeze and use over time and 23%, particularly Gen Z and younger millennials, buy meat and poultry for one meal at a time. Those who buy in larger quantities to freeze over time commonly repackage (87%) and re-portion (86%) of their purchases before freezing.

3. While 74% of Americans tend to draw from routine meals, 47% are inspired by recipe websites, 31% by cooking shows, 29% by Facebook, 26% by Pinterest and 24% by YouTube. Shoppers who take to social media are more likely to shop online, buy one meal at a time, buy meal kits, buy value-added meat and are highly sensitive to promotions.

4. Online grocery shopping is growing, but meat lags behind. Less than 1% of shoppers primarily buy groceries online, but 39% supplement store trips with online orders. Meat trails other areas: 21% have purchased any meat/poultry online and 14% have purchased fresh meat online. Online growth is likely, with 45% of current online shoppers expecting they will buy more in the coming year. For 81%, meat searches start with their past purchase history and 70% search for specific brands.

5. Two-thirds of shoppers look for ‘healthy’ options when buying meat and poultry, with a focus on leaner cuts, moderation and protein variety. Meat continues to lose out in the nation’s protein craze, with just 0.2% of sales coming from meat carrying protein claims. Three in 10 shoppers look for claims relative to the animal and planet, with an elevated interest in each among younger shoppers.

6. Plant-based meat alternatives are a small but fast-growing market; interest in blended plant/meat items is even higher. Three-quarters of meat eaters integrate plant-based meat alternatives into their dinner line-up. This segment rings up $878 million in annual sales, up 19%, with sales driven by Gen Z and millennials. Blended plant/meat items, such as mushroom burgers, have a higher and greater cross-population appeal, and can be a bridge to the attributes consumers look for, while keeping meat on the plate.

7. Meal kits are an important key to introducing shoppers to new cuts and kinds while overcoming trial barriers. Four in 10 shoppers have purchased a meal kit in the past year, either at retail (34%) or through delivery (13%). The meat/poultry quality and quantity matters greatly in the decision to buy again, and 71% agree meal kits prompt them to try new meat/poultry items.

8. The stove and oven still rule meat/poultry preparation, but the instant pot and air fryer are making rapid inroads. Consumers average 4–5 meat/poultry preparation methods and mostly switch between the stove, oven, grill and crock pot. If owned, 74% of consumers use their instant pots occasionally or frequently to prepare meat/poultry and 59% use their air fryer to do so.

9. Across the store, meat/poultry carrying production claims grew sales an above-average 4.8%. Consumers tie back livestock-raising practices to their own health. Consumers tie production practices, such as hormone/antibiotic-free and grass-fed, back to their own health, even more so than having benefits for the welfare of the animal. More than half of shoppers want to see their stores carry more grass-fed (54%), all natural (52%) and free-from antibiotics and hormones items.

10. After a 13-year run as the top resource for checking meat/poultry promotions, the print ad (51%) is surpassed by in-store promotional signage (53%). Digital, social and mobile are growing promotional resources also. Meat/poultry sales promotions can be effective at driving stock-up, impulse and brand-switching.

The Power of Meat report was conducted by 210 Analytics and was made possible by Sealed Air Food Care Division/Cryovac. The full report can be downloaded at: www.annualmeatconference.com/powermeat19.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Bill

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