Fresh Food

Capitalize on America’s Love for Meat

Photograph courtesy of Meat & Livestock of Australia

Despite the headlines announcing consumers’ desire for plant-based substitutes, meat sales are still at an all-time high. Up from just 1% growth in 2019, the retail meat department increased dollar sales by 19.2% and increased volume sales by 11% in 2020.[1]

Recent consumer surveys from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) show an overwhelming majority of consumers (76%) describe themselves as “omnivores” as opposed to vegetarian or vegan.[2] Just looking at red meat, the percentage of consumers claiming to eat beef at least weekly increased from 67% to 72% from January to September 2020.[3]

How to tap into the passion for protein

While the entire category is performing well, there are some clear growth leaders, notably meats with healthy and natural appeal. Grassfed beef brings those benefits to the table that appeal to high-value, big-basket shoppers with upside potential. Attributes like no antibiotics, no added hormones, and humanely raised have broad appeal and move the needle even more for these shoppers.

This is not the time for retailers to be complacent, despite the recent sales growth from the meat case. “Marketing the meat case” has been proven time and again to reinforce shoppers’ choices and get them to buy. Consider these factors:

  • More than 70% of consumers[4] can be influenced by in-store marketing such as in-store events, tastings, butcher recommendations and point-of-sale.
  • 80% of grassfed beef shoppers have no set budget, or are willing to make an exception to try something new.[4]
  • 61% of meat buyers are willing to pay for better quality meat[4]

It’s important to remind shoppers that lean proteins like grassfed beef from Australia have built in advantages. Here’s a three-point plan to advance meat sales with grassfed beef:

  1. Make it prominent. Many meat sections have yet to catch up to consumer demand for higher quality, sustainable offerings like grassfed beef. First and foremost, add assortment and make it easy to find.
  2. Emphasize the fundamentals. Leverage the built-in purchase drivers for meat sales by focusing emphasis on taste, variety and healthfulness. Showcase recipes in-store and online that help maximize the appeal to today’s “protein” shopper.
  3. Lean into the goodness of the meat. Leaner cuts of grassfed beef deliver high-quality protein with far fewer calories than non-meat sources like quinoa or beans. In all marketing, include callouts for high quality, all-natural, sustainable and high levels of Omega-3s.

[1] Mid-year 2020 Power of Meat Study

[2] IFIC, Protein Task Force Survey, 2021

[3] Progressive Grocer, “Beefing Sales”

[4] Grassfed Beef Voice of the Shopper Study, 2018

This post is sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia