8 CONSUMER PERISHABLES DATABOOK 2016
In recent years, meat and seafood department performance has been affected by lingering pricing and supply
issues, as well as barriers to entry for younger shoppers
and those with less cooking experience than older shopper groups. The bakery department has maintained steady
sales, but faces challenges over perceptions of health and
quality. However, current trends concerning health and
wellness, convenience, even the “foodie” movement, and
growing demand for more multi-cultural flavors and products offer a wealth of opportunities to drive future growth.
Pricing remains the key storyline within the meat department. In recent years, a range of supply issues have resulted
in higher pricing and mixed performance across proteins.
And though many shoppers have adapted to the “new normal” of higher meat prices, some are leaving the department
altogether—though at a slower rate than in 2014.
Retailers and suppliers can help mitigate the impact of
higher prices for consumers by creating value for consumers
beyond price. Smaller pack sizes, convenient, pre-marinated
or portioned cuts, and consumer education on the health
benefits of meat can go a long way and ultimately entice
consumers back to the meat case.
All of this is not to say that meat is not still an important,
widely shopped department. Meat accounts for 38 percent of
total perimeter sales and 14 percent of total store food sales.
In 2015, 98 percent of U.S. households made purchases in
the meat department on 27 trips annually, one less trip than
in 2015. Shoppers spent $379.73 on fresh meat in 2015,
down 1.3 percent compared to the previous year.
A detailed look at meat performance shows flat sales
for the latest 52 weeks ended Feb. 27. Meat department
sales increased 0.4 percent in dollar sales and one percent
in volume sales. During the latest 52 weeks, the slight dollar growth in fresh meat (up 0.5 percent) was generated by
increased beef sales (up 1.7 percent). Within fresh meat,
pork and lamb were the only proteins to post volume gains.
From many vantage points, the produce department holds
an enviable position within the grocery store. Produce is
the second-largest fresh department behind meat and is
currently riding a wave of increased and varied health and
wellness demands to higher sales. The department’s compound annual dollar growth rate from 2011 to 2015 was
3. 7 percent.
In 2015, shoppers’ annual spend remained steady compared to the previous year, and produce remains a widely
purchased department— 99. 7 percent of U.S. households
purchase produce annually. And though nearly everyone
buys produce, what they are buying and the values driving
their purchases are evolving.
The department’s steady growth over the past several
years has been driven less by produce staples like whole
apples, carrots and bananas, and more by trendy products,