Power of Meat Study: Purchasing Behavior Reaching New BalanceTuesday, February 22, 2011
(American Meat Institute)
The world of grocery shopping appears to be reaching a new balance, with net spending rising for the first time in three years, according to the sixth annual The Power of Meat study. While some shoppers still spent less on groceries than they did a year ago, the share of shoppers who have made changes to their meat and poultry purchases as a result of the economy declined for the second year in a row, down from 51 percent in 2009 to 36 percent today. Overall, the share of shoppers who cut their total food spending (restaurant and grocery spending combined) compared to 12 months prior is down by 17 percent.
The report, conducted by 210 Analytics, was commissioned jointly by the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) with generous sponsorship by Sealed Air’s Cryovac Food Packaging Division,, The report details the findings of a national online poll of 1,201 consumers conducted in November 2010, was released today at the 2011 Annual Meat Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Other findings of the study include:
- Supermarkets maintained their market share
as respondents’ primary store for meat and
poultry purchases at 68 percent. The majority
of purchases continue to come from the meat
case as opposed to the service counter. The
quality perception of case-ready meat reached
its highest point in the six-year history of
- Occasional deal seekers have now become
dedicated bargain hunters, with fully
three-quarters of shoppers reporting that they
research meat deals either before going to the
store by means of a circular or specials posted
online or in the store.
- Some three years after mandatory
country-of-origin labeling went into effect,
one-third of shoppers report noticing the
labels — predominantly directly on the
package. The percentage of shoppers willing to
pay more for U.S. raised and processed meat and
poultry is the same as before at about
one-third of shoppers.
- Shoppers prepare an average of four
home-cooked meals containing a meat or poultry
item per week. But while home-cooked meals made
a strong comeback, shoppers don’t necessarily
know how to cook meat and poultry. Less than
half consider themselves very knowledgeable in
areas such as cooking meat, poultry and
seafood, and significant numbers admit room for
improvement on things like picking sides that
match the meat’s flavor profile, pairing the
right wine with the meal, marinating and
spicing meat and poultry, and even the USDA
beef grading system.
- Chicken and beef continue to dominate the
dinner plate, but this year the survey noted a
rise in heat-and-eat meats while the
consumption of fresh meat remained flat.
- When it comes to healthy eating, respondents said they were most likely to cut back on portion sizes or second helpings, followed by choosing foods that are lower in sodium than their regular counterparts. On a positive note for meat and poultry sales, a much greater percentage say they are not willing to give up meat regularly compared to those who do regularly eat more meatless meals for health reasons, at 26 percent versus 18 percent, respectively. These strategies have largely remained the same compared to last year.
- Overall, shopper frugality is
resulting in a lesser focus on eating
healthfully. Fewer shoppers are checking the
nutrition facts panel when purchasing fresh and
processed meat and the number of shoppers who
say they succeed in eating a healthy diet
regularly is down compared to previous years.
Shoppers continue to check this information
most frequently for processed meat, with 29
percent doing so every time and 37 percent
- While shoppers’ attention remains on
―light, ―low and ―no, there
seems to be somewhat of a shift in focus to
items that shoppers want to include in their
diets such as protein, fiber and various
vitamins. While attributes they are trying to
limit or avoid did not score as highly, each of
these attributes grew in importance compared
with 2010 ratings.
- One in five shoppers, the same fraction as
last year, has purchased natural and/or organic
meat or poultry in the past three months. With
strong belief in the positive long-term health
effects of organic meat and poultry, shoppers
are unwilling to give up this choice even if
they only purchase organic for certain kinds or
cuts of meat.
- Shoppers name a growing variety of reasons for purchasing organic meat and poultry. The most significant reason is perceived long-term health benefits from the consumption of organic meat and poultry (44 percent) as well as a belief (37 percent) that the primary benefit is better health and treatment of the animal. One-third of shoppers also cited perceived better nutritional value, better taste and freshness as a key factor in organic meat and poultry purchases.
To purchase The Power of Meat 2011, go to http://www.fmi.org/forms/store/CommercePlusFormPublic/search?action=Feature.share on facebook share on twitter