The most recent Power of Meat consumer trends report from the Food Marketing Institute and the North American Meat Institute found that, overall, price relief is driving a willingness to experiment and purchase premium products at the meat counter. Even better for independent natural food retailers stocking such items is that trends are in their favor.
This 12th iteration of the study stressed that retailers who thoughtfully curate their meat case will experience the most success in 2017, specifically in the following areas:
Targeted merchandising: Though older generations place value on the price per pound and the way a product looks, Millennial shoppers want to know the total package price and also some preparation tips, from how long it takes to how easy it is to prepare. They also prefer a fixed price over different packages offering varying amounts and prices. Across the board, ready-to-prepare meal kits in the meat department lured shoppers.
Clean labels: According to the report, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free, grass-fed, and other clean label meats have experienced double-digit growth, in addition to those that display a better treatment of both animals and the environment. Going forward, transparency is king, especially now that—for the first time in 12 years—shoppers who bought natural/organic options (48 percent) outnumbered those who have not (41 percent).
Artisan appeal: Even larger stores can win over shoppers looking for the local butcher experience, says the report, if they invest in staff who can answer expert-level questions and act as a "personal concierge" for shoppers.