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How Retailers Can Boost Pork Sales This Summer

National Pork Board encourages promotions for grilling season

Memorial Day Weekend marks the official start of summer for many, which means a prime opportunity for retailers to offer pork promotions for consumers’ grilling occasions, according to the National Pork Board (NPB). 

With high pork demand and purchase frequency during peak summer months, NPB is encouraging grocers to tout their fresh pork offerings to increase basket size and incremental sales.

“Pork is a basket builder and a huge opportunity for retailers during grilling season,” said Stephen Gerike, assistant VP of channel marketing for the National Pork Board, in a statement. “There’s a substantial benefit to the retailer because consumers don’t eat ribs or chops by themselves. They need all the fixings like side dishes, sauces and rubs—resulting in an average basket worth more than three times as much.”

According to Nielsen's 2017 data, one key retailer that expanded and promoted its selection of pork ribs and chops saw increased sales of 9.3% and 4.7%, respectively. For retailers that did not tailor their pork programs around these cuts, an average of 35% of pork chop and rib sales were leaked to competitive retailers, per Nielsen, resulting in $46 million in missed sales opportunities.

Research has also found that consumers are prepared to pay more for pork during grilling season, spending an average of $1.10 more on ribs and 12 cents more on chops. Plus, consumers purchasing pork chops and ribs at least once a month will spend an average of $88.63 more per trip, and a basket with ribs and chops is worth $121.47 more that a basket without, according to Nielsen data.

Pork promotions are key to retaining sales and driving foot traffic in store, according to NPB. Nielsen data also reveals a 90% positive correlation between volume percent on promotion and dollar sales on ribs, with pork chop and rib promotions at 51% and 61% efficient, respectively, compared to 46% for ground beef and chicken. For consumers looking to purchase pork, promotions can be imperative in their purchase decision, NPB said.

“Differentiating loin chops using nomenclature, like Porterhouse and Ribeye, and educating consumers on the proper end-point cooking temperature of 145 degrees [F] will provide a positive eating experience that delivers repeat purchase,” said Gerike. “The National Pork Board has ‘how-to’ grilling videos available online to answer those questions consumers are asking Google, and point-of-sale kits available for retailers looking to educate consumers at the meat case.”

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