Economy Impacts Meat Case
According to The Power of Meat 2009, a study by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute, grocery stores are feeling the pinch of the recession, particularly when it comes to sales of meat. Economic concerns are affecting where people shop for meat as well as the cut, brand, and amount purchased.
General trends among consumers include eating out less, cooking more, trading down, substituting, and eliminating. However, overall spending remains constant at about $91 per week. At least half of consumers are using coupons whenever possible, buying only what they need, and switching from national to store brands. Sales items are also gaining in popularity.
With respect to meat purchases, 51% of consumers have changed their habits. For example, greater preparation before going to the store and a longer decision time in the store are common. About 71% of shoppers read grocery fliers more often and more carefully before purchasing meat than they did one year ago. Another 69% stocks up on meat purchases when these products are on sale, while 67% say they purchase less expensive cuts frequently or every time they shop.
Despite the difficult economic times, health and nutrition remain important concerns. More than half of consumers (56%) put some effort into healthful eating, while 20% put a lot of effort toward this goal; 15% of shoppers are skipping meat or finding lower cholesterol items on a regular basis.
An estimated 18% of shoppers have purchased organic or “natural” meats in the past three months. Natural and organic chicken are the most frequently purchased items, with beef and ground meat following. Consumers cite long-term health and nutritional value as the top two reasons for organic meat and poultry purchases.