WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS MARCH 2018 95
counterparts, which are prepackaged at the processing
plant. It’s especially true with seafood, which is more
expensive than meat, and much of which can be displayed
for only a few days, making the shrink stakes that much
higher. And consumers are increasingly opting for seafood
that has never been frozen, either because they intend to
freeze it at home or because it’s perceived to be of higher
quality. Another challenge: Most full-service closed cases
can offer product on only one level, limiting display space.
Making a Better Case
Improvements in display case technology are reducing or
eliminating many of these challenges by allowing more
product to be shown to greater advantage with more reliable temperature control.
Perhaps the most interesting improvements involve
allowing multiple-tier displays inside enclosed full-service cases. New cases, some rolled out a few years ago
and others recently introduced, can show product on two
and even three levels. Getting more product into the same
space is important for several reasons: As fresh products
of all kinds become more of a priority with shoppers, it’s
important to give them as much variety as possible.
“Many stores are looking to grow perimeter sales and
allocating more space to the perimeter,” says Anne-Marie
Roerink, principal of 210 Analytics LLC, a consulting firm
that works with many clients in the meat industry, includ-
ing the North American Meat Institute. “Innovations that
allow greater variety in a smaller square-foot area are a
great way to creatively expand. Additionally, it may allow
retailers to take more of a total-meal approach by offering
meal kits and meal stations.”
Conversely, many food retailers are trying to work with
hen it comes to supermarket visuals, you can’t
beat meat. Supermarkets gain eye appeal in
large part by how well they present fresh food.
And while the burst of colors in an array of
produce makes an impact, many shoppers are drawn to a
gleaming, ruby-red, perfectly marbled porterhouse steak
or a pristine salmon filet nestled in a bed of crushed ice.
But a prevailing consideration emerges: Merchandising
meat and seafood presents many challenges. The foremost is the product being prone to spoilage, with greater
consequences for food safety. A short shelf life means
products must be rotated into and out of the display case
quicker than other fresh foods. Display space also comes
at a premium, which limits selection and variety.
About one-quarter of meat and seafood sales are in
bulk product in closed, full-service display cases, which
not only makes for more eye-appealing displays, but also
permits orders to be customized while allowing butchers
and other department personnel to interact with customers for selection, preparation and cooking advice.
However, exposed bulk products usually have a shorter
shelf life than packaged goods, including their case-ready
Retail Foodservice Pillars
Meets the Eye
Merchandising fresh meat and seafood can be
tricky, but new technology offers better displays
with more options. By Pan Demetrakakes
Amount of meat sales
that occur at open
Source: The Power of
Meat 2017, FMI
Equipment & Design
Displays of fresh
meat and seafood are
expanding to meet
shoppers’ greater interest
in the store perimeter.