People are increasingly expecting
ethically raised meat, including hormone-
free, natural, vegetarian-fed and grass-
fed as a given.” —Catherine Golding, True Aussie Beef and Lamb
The report credits the newfound acceptance of meat
delivery to retail giants such as Amazon/Whole Foods
and Walmart, which are propelling grocery delivery into
the future with new innovations and a focus on seamless
For example, Walmart is testing third-party drivers to
complete last-mile deliveries, both Walmart and Kroger
are piloting self-driving cars, and Amazon launched its
Prime Now app for grocery deliveries, with rapid expansion underway.
However, even smaller retailers can benefit from this
growing trust in fresh grocery delivery if they join the “app
race,” according to Orsini, who says if the shopper is ordering from their regular grocery store, the “familiarity helps
with trust that the products will be the quality they expect.”
However, a bad experience could turn consumers off for
good, “so retailers need to ensure they provide a good
experience from day one.”
‘Meating’ Welfare Standards
One way that retailers can build this trust with customers
is to offer beef that meets their values. In the past, that
was organic, says Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co.
CEO Alister Ferguson, and then it was organic plus grass-fed. More recently it has been “about welfare and certifications such as certified humane and non-GMO project
approved,” he says.
Catherine Golding, business development manager with
True Aussie Beef and Lamb, seconds that. She advises that
as people become savvier about their food choices beyond
quality and price, they are becoming concerned with “how
their meat was raised and its impact on their health and
well-being,” she says.
“People are increasingly expecting ethically raised meat,
including hormone-free, natural, vegetarian-fed and grass-fed as a given,” says Golding, adding that retailers should
“increase their assortment accordingly, providing more
open information to help shoppers make better decisions
in-store and ensuring that staff is more knowledgeable
than ever about their offerings,” as well as asking the same
questions of suppliers that customers would ask, such as
Offering humanely raised beef
such as Arcadian can give
retailers a competitive edge.
where and how the beef was raised.
Additionally, Golding says consumers are increasingly
willing to try new cuts of beef beyond the mainstream, but
that also must be accompanied by explanations and tips to
ensure folks know what they are buying and that they are
cooking the items correctly.
Data from the Power of Meat study backs up Golding’s
point, affirming that while more than 8 in 10 shoppers buy
only a few different cuts of meat and poultry, 42% would be
willing to try something new if they were advised to do so.
“We know that many shoppers are reluctant to ask
questions in the meat department,” Golding says. “This is
a miss and should be addressed with better in-store naviga-
tion, including efforts to make the meat section more invit-
ing and engaging. Since ‘shopping starts before the store,’
the philosophy of helpful education should extend to the
grocer’s digital, mobile and social platforms too.”
Ready-to-cook and fully cooked meat products such as
meal kits, prepared burgers, marinated tenderloins and
fully smoked meats are also major meat trends, Golding
“This provides opportunity for grocers to do more than
just sell ingredients but offer up full solutions for key occasions as we enter the holiday season,” she says.
Growing Bacteria of Growing Concern
Expanding on the importance of trust, food safety snafus
are one of the easiest ways to compromise loyal customers’ confidence in their decision to purchase meat from a
retailer or restaurant.
For example, Chipotle’s cult following is losing steam
after multiple foodborne-illness incidents over the past few