Fresh Food

Drive Meat Sales by Appealing to Late Summer and Early Fall Grilling Opportunities

How retailers can boost sales by catering to consumer preferences.
Photograph: Shutterstock

For consumers, summertime means it’s time to barbecue. And for food retailers, that translates into meat sales. But the cookouts don’t have to end at Labor Day—for retailers, the transition from summer to fall presents an opportunity to continue promoting cuts of meat that are perfect for grilling even as the seasons change. To maximize sales of beef and pork during the transition from summer to fall, it’s important for retailers to have a comprehensive idea of what to stock, how to increase interest as summer winds down and how to promote various cuts of meat.

Boosting summertime and fall beef and pork sales doesn’t have to be difficult—find out how to maximize the meat counter below.

Popular cuts of meat for grilling

For shoppers, some dishes are staples for the grill—items such as burgers, which are perfect for tailgating; steaks, ribs or pork chops for Labor Day cookouts; and other options, such as kebabs made with pork, beef, chicken or lamb, perfect for cooking portions for groups of people at once.

Retailers should be sure to stock ribeyes and top sirloins, which are perfect for kebabs, as well as other crowd-pleasers such as New York strip steaks, pork chops and pork cutlets. Of course, ground beef and pork are a barbecue staple and should be well-stocked, too.

Transitioning from summer to fall

Barbecuing and grilling out are great for spring, summer and early fall, but as summer comes to a close and the end of “grilling season” draws near, retailers need to ensure stock is constantly monitored. Meat department staff can entice shoppers with discounts and bargain packages, as well as meal kits to help eliminate leftover product. These tactics can also encourage customers to purchase cuts of meat they may not have bought earlier in the summertime.

While stocking essential cuts is important for maximizing meat sales, branching out to barbecue aficionados with a larger variety of cuts of meat can be a way to entice trial and keep shoppers coming back. Try offering cuts such as chuck eye steak, flap steak (essentially a larger, thicker version of skirt steak—perfect for groups), tri-tip, Denver steaks and St. Louis pork steaks—pork shoulder, cut into eight-ounce, bone-in steaks—as contenders for boosting summertime sales.

By offering customers new options they can experiment with on the grill, along with well-priced options customers potentially haven’t tried out, retailers lock in more than just one season’s worth of meat purchases. Consider rotating stock every week or two weeks and promoting new cuts near the meat department and in grocery circular ads. Retailers can also position bone-in options as a value offer, as bone-in meats tend to be cheaper—from 50 cents to $1 less per pound than boneless options. By highlighting the variety, retailers set themselves up not only for summertime success, but continued purchases as summer turns into fall.

Selling tactics

While cookouts and barbecuing call to mind pictures of summertime, barbecue still has selling power past summer months. Consumers who started their grilling journey at the beginning of summer—those who bought new grills or had their first experiences grilling—can turn to meat departments to find meats that are appropriate for cooler-weather grilling, also.

Late summer and early fall is also a great time for retailers to push “the last cookout of the season” promotions, as well as tailgating options as sports seasons start back up. Consumers are looking to maximize their time outside before it gets cold again, and grilling can help bring people together a few more times.

Grocers can position the meat department as not only the place to go for all of customers’ weekend barbecue and tailgating needs, but also as the place where leftovers for weekday lunches and even dinners are born. Customers can grill during the weekend and feed their families for a few days after—perfect for busy consumers.

At the end of summer, grocers can reflect on their 2020 summer meat sales to evaluate which cuts sold best and start early on developing a strategic plan for 2021.

One thing’s for sure: From affordable cuts perfect for feeding a crowd to more indulgent options that beg for extra attention, there’s a cut of beef or pork perfect for just about anyone.

Learn more about quality beef and pork solutions at


This post is sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.


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