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Retail Foodservice

Better-for-you products satisfy consumer quest for all-around well-being

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Demand for meats labeled with “No Antibiotics Ever” has been growing rapidly along with a host of other attributes that consumers are seeking in their quest for physical and emotional well-being.

In addition to No Antibiotics Ever (NAE), other qualities that consumers increasingly demand from products in the meat case include no added hormones, all natural, organic, grass- or vegetarian-fed and labels that indicate strong animal welfare practices.

While conventional meats still make up the bulk of sales in the meat department, sales of meats with better-for-you claims are growing rapidly. Sales of NAE meats, for example, were up 10.8% in 2016, according to IRI FreshLook™ data.

Consumers seeking these qualities are among the most valuable shoppers in the store, with above-average incomes. They also tend to be younger, often have families to feed and are interested in making purchases they consider to be ethical.

The quest for more natural, less-processed meats fits in with a growing interest in these types of products throughout the store.

Among young millennials, 85% say they have purchased better-for-you items, compared with 70% of consumers overall, according to SmartFood Choices 2018 research, indicating the strong growth potential for these products going forward. These consumers are defining better-for-you products in broad terms that include not only healthier preparations and higher nutritional value, but also attributes such as clean labels (including no artificial colors or preservatives), sustainability and fair treatment of animals.

In fact, about half of consumers — 49% — said buying better-for-you products is driven by a desire for overall emotional/physical wellness, and the same percentage said they seek out better-for-you products to feel good about buying items for themselves or their families, according to the SmartFood Choices 2018 research.

That research also found that 51% of consumers said that a store’s better-for-you product assortment influences where they shop, indicating a competitive need for retailers to offer assortments that meet these criteria.

The Open Prairie® Natural* Meats brand of pork and Angus beef products from Tyson Fresh Meats provides shoppers with the wholesome qualities they are looking for in the meat case. These products, including the animals raised for them, are subject to a strict “never ever” policy, including no antibiotics ever, no added hormones or growth promotants**, no artificial ingredients, no additives and no preservatives. The animals are fed a 100% vegetarian diet, with no animal byproducts other than milk and are minimally processed.

In addition, the animals raised for Open Prairie Natural Meats also meet extensive criteria for animal welfare and feeding practices, including third-party audits of suppliers and comprehensive training programs for workers. The brand’s animal welfare guidelines include vaccination and parasite controls to prevent disease, veterinarian oversight or consultation for ill or injured animals, and handling that minimizes stress.

Consumers can feel confident Open Prairie Natural Meats products adhere to their claims, thanks to a partnership with IdentiGEN North America. IdentiGEN uses DNA TraceBack® technology to verify that the exact origin of Open Prairie Natural Meats is from animals raised in accordance with the brand’s strict production claims.

Shoppers are seeking better-for-you products that satisfy their needs for both physical and emotional well-being. Open Prairie Natural Meats makes it easy for retailers to give these shoppers what they are looking for.

*Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.

**Federal regulations prohibit the use of added hormones or growth promotants in pork.

DNA TraceBack is a registered trademark of IdentiGEN North America.

®/™/© 2019 Tyson Foods, Inc.

This post is sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.

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