s the largest perimeter department, and argu-ably the most powerful in driving customer
loyalty, fresh meat case success is crucial
to total store success. With 98% household
penetration, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s
The Power of Meat 2018 report, the meat department has
ample engagement but tends to lack diversity in terms of
shoppers’ purchasing preferences.
From shank to sirloin to ribeye to chuck, the varieties of
cuts are countless—as are the varieties of meat types—and
can be intimidating to young or unfamiliar shoppers, resulting in the majority ( 8 in 10) sticking to just a few options.
Yet 42% of shoppers said they are willing to explore new
varieties, if advised, The Power of Meat 2018 found.
Fresh, premium prepared products not only offer con-
sumers convenient meal solutions but also provide an
approachable introduction to new meat varieties and
flavors. Rivaling their labor-intense, home-cooked fore-
runners, sales of value-added fresh prepackaged and
random-weight meat reached $2.2 billion in the 52 weeks
ending May 20, 2018, according to Chicago-based market
research firm IRI, with a three-year compounded annual
growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% annually.
Retailers can use prepared offerings to satisfy consumer
demand for convenience, as well as drive shopper confidence and loyalty, through the meat department. “While
still a small portion of the overall meat department offering, the step-savings for the consumer is a benefit many
seek, and a way for retailers to tap into unmet home meal
demand,” says Jonna Parker, principal with Chicago-based
market research firm IRI.
Driven by shoppers’ desire to save time and effort, heat-and-eat and ready-to-eat meat products are experiencing greater household penetration and consumption
frequency, says Larry Pierce, EVP of merchandising and
marketing for SpartanNash, based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“We’ve seen an increased demand for ready-to-cook
options, including robust and indulgent seasoned and marinated meats in both service cases and ready-to-purchase
packages,” he says.
To help shoppers integrate convenience-focused meal
solutions into their routines, SpartanNash offers a line of
signature sausages made in-store daily, featuring locally
inspired flavors that vary by location. For instance, the
retailer’s recently remodeled Georgetown Family Fare
store in Hudsonville, Mich., touts mettwurst sausages that
appeal to the surrounding Dutch population and are quick
and easy to prepare. “We know many of our on-the-go store
guests are looking to grab something from the store and
have it ready to grill once they get home,” says Pierce.
Ready-to-cook dinner kits take convenient meal solutions a step further with the inclusion of premeasured
ingredients and sides, offering a complete meal in bold,
adventurous flavors. Meat & Livestock Australia, North
Sydney, offers options like its grass-fed beef flank steak
stuffed with spinach, mozzarella and sun-dried toma-toes, or Korean BBQ Lamb with noodles, snow peas and
cashews. “This shift goes beyond what was done previously with just meatballs or marinated steaks,” says Catherine Golding, business development manager for Meat
& Livestock. “Grocers are striving to keep dollars within
their footprint and are working even harder to innovate and
deliver shopper value through culinary-forward options.”
To highlight prepared products’ features and usage,
Golding suggests retailers utilize on-pack labels with clear
tips, such as “Great for Grilling,” “Low and Slow” or “
Skillet Ready,” to make the cooking process more approachable and build shopper confidence.
Meat & Seafood
Building a Case for
Upscale, packaged and ready-to-eat products drive total
store sales and customer loyalty. By Natalie Taylor
Three-year CAGR of
Meat & Livestock
Australia offers meals
such as herb-crusted
lamb cutlets with red