Balancing Cost and Convenience: Key Trends Shaping the Meat Industry

Filed Under: Shopper, Food & Beverage, Grocery


Kathleen Blum

Vice President, Shopper Insights Research

In recent years, inflationary pressures and price increases have been key dynamics shaping the meat industry. With the inflation of meat prices, consumers have developed a deeply ingrained “high-price mindset.” Conditions have pushed shoppers to adapt, strategize, and experiment to maximize value. Interestingly, it’s not just about the price tag; shoppers are also factoring in the quality and freshness of their meat purchases. This trend is reflected by the growing demand for innovative packaging for family meat packs designed to extend shelf life and reduce waste.

In a Supermarket News article titled “Price most important for meat shoppers,” these current industry trends and their implications are explored in depth. The Power Of Meat 2023 report cited in the article reveals that 76% of meat and poultry shoppers have adjusted their buying behavior in response to these price shifts. This includes buying different amounts, switching species and cuts, favoring different brands, and altering where they shop. However, the article indicates that shoppers have not abandoned value-added products, such as marinated and seasoned cuts, burgers, and kabobs. These items may carry a higher price tag but are seeing success due to the convenience they offer- suggesting some customers are still willing to pay a premium for products that simplify their cooking experience.

Innovative retailer strategies in response to evolving shopper demands are also covered in the article. Personalized promotions, data-driven meal suggestions, and creative merchandising are being employed by retailers to engage customers. These efforts clearly go beyond offering cost savings, aiming to enhance the shopping experience and build customer loyalty. For example, retailers like SpartanNash have strategically positioned affordable meal solutions at the entrances of their outlets, an approach that emphasizes visibility and accessibility to affordable, easy-to-grab options that appeal to their shoppers.

It’s clear that today’s meat shoppers are still looking for more than just low prices. They seek a balance of cost, quality, convenience, and a personalized shopping experience. The challenge for retailers lies in striking this balance and innovating around customer needs, offering value in ways that go beyond the price point. By meeting these evolving demands, retailers can foster long-term loyalty and profitability in an increasingly price-conscious marketplace.

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