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A Shift in Pork Consumption
Another bright spot in fresh pork has been the
migration from random weight to net weight
(fixed weight) offerings, Murphy says: “Net
weight products offer consumers a consis-
tent shelf price and remove labor from the
retailer as the meat managers no longer have
to weigh and price each item.”
Convenience is also critical to increasing
sales of fresh pork. “Consumers eating hab-
its have changed, and the more traditional
center-of-the-plate pork cuts (e.g., chops
and ribs) have struggled from the evolution,”
While fresh pork chops, ribs, roasts and
loins still command the lion’s share of fresh
pork dollar sales, Clemens sees a shift away
from these cuts that require more preparation in favor of cuts such as boneless roasts
and ground pork that offer greater versatility
and faster cook times. These cuts also lend
themselves to smoker, Instant Pot and slow
Consumer studies have shown that lack of
preparation knowledge is a top barrier to pork
consumption. As part of its “education and
inspiration” efforts, Clemens offers on-pack-age usage stickers that make suggestions
such as “Great for Slow Cookers” or “Great
for Tacos.” It also works with grocers to share
recipe assets in-store, through social media
and retailer websites.
“The retailers who are seeing success in
fresh sales are those dedicating resources to
pork products, and making educational and
inspirational materials readily available for
their consumers to feel confident about their
purchase,” Murphy says.
Self-Service vs. Full-Service
According to the Power of Meat 2018 report, consumers are
embracing both the self-service meat case and full-service counter,
says Kent Harrison, VP of marketing and premium programs for Tyson
While an average of 71% of meat purchases are selected from the
meat case (down from 75% in 2012), 70% of shoppers still value a
full-service meat counter, with “high weekly trip” shoppers and “
high-income” shoppers valuing a full-service meat counter more than any
other group (75%).
“As such, the meat case and full-service counter work hand in hand
to provide a quality customer experience,” says Harrison.