‘Power of Meat' Study Explores its Role in Today’s Food World

The Lempert Report
April 23, 2019

In the nick of time, as more shoppers are heading towards plant-based foods the “Power of Meat 2019” explores the $67 billion meat and poultry category.

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research and Education, the foundation for the North American Meat Institute, released the 14th annual exploration into how to best optimize the role of meat and poultry in today’s food culture: the way people eat, shop and live. The report was compiled by Anne-Marie Roerink principal at 210 Analytics.

One of the key findings was that consumers are increasingly shopping across the full meat offering, from the meat case and counter to the frozen aisle and the deli. The study showed that across all departments, convenience-focused meat and poultry saw growth in 2018, including for value added (up 5.1%), fully cooked (up 2.5%) and frozen (up 2.2%).

Roerink said the industry needs to stop focusing on the departments and start thinking about the meal occasion backwards. Food retailers and their meat supplier partners should align their thinking with the shoppers who consider their meat purchase as a meal occasion and not necessarily relegated to one area of the store.

Currently, four in 10 shoppers buy meat/poultry for meals to cover several days; 35% buy more than they need to freeze and use over time, and 23%, particularly Generation Z and younger Millennials, buy meat and poultry for one meal at a time. The report also suggests that with changing media habits and offerings, there is a need for considering creative new ways of engaging the meat shopper. The survey found that while 52% of shoppers decide on what they’ll purchase in store, 23% decide long before setting foot in the meat department.

Eighty-six percent of U.S. shoppers interviewed described themselves as meat eaters, but the data suggest that a younger generation is increasingly reporting a flexitarian regime, which is categorized as a mostly vegetarian diet with occasional meat and poultry consumption. 13% of Gen Z eat a flexitarian diet versus just 6% of Boomers. Women are also more likely to be flexitarians than men, at 15% versus 6%.

 The data showed that meat does not seem to be benefitting from the current protein craze. What? While this doesn’t seem to make sense – the reason, according to 210 Analytics is due to many being unaware of meat’s high protein content. 

Boy do we need to educate shoppers. That is clear.