Millennials keep influencing meat counter choices, displays
The American millennial generation continues to view meat purchases somewhat differently than older consumers. A presentation at the annual Power of Meat Conference reveals that this younger generation, aged 18-38, places more emphasis on convenience and less emphasis on price.
Surveys found baby boomers rate price per pound 4.7 on a scale where six is highest while millennials rate price at 3.9. Millennials rate ease of preparation at three while baby boomers gave it a low 1.6 priority.
Millennials rated appearance 3.8 with baby boomers rating of 4.5. Millennials’ priorities in choosing meat range from 61 per cent wanting something different to 38 per cent choosing health, 51 per cent choosing ease of preparation and 36 per cent choosing lower cost items. Not surprisingly, a survey on trying new things found millennials more willing than boomers.
Fifty-two per cent of millennials are willing to try a new restaurant. Only 44 per cent of boomers will do that. Fifty-six per cent of millennials will try a new recipe with familiar meat, compared with 38 per cent of boomers.
Thirty per cent of millennials will shop at a new meat department, while only 15 per cent of boomers will. Millennials shop less, averaging 96 trips a year for meat, compared with an average of 119.
Seventy-seven per cent of shoppers research before the trip, with store circulars delivered to the home still the most used means of research.
Protein claims, once rarely used to promote meat, were used 36 per cent more on meat in 2016.
The survey found sales volume of meat with any claim was up nine per cent with price up seven per cent.
Volume of meat sold with no claim was up two per cent with average price down four per cent.
Among claims, volume of organic meat increased 10 per cent, hormone/antibiotic free meat volume was up 14 per cent, natural meat volume was up nine per cent and grass-fed meat volume increased 20 per cent.
Price increases for meat with these claims ranged between four and 16 per cent. Attributes shoppers want to have in meat focus on animal diets, origin and treatment.
• Four in 10 prefer hormone free, antibiotic free, grass-fed, raised in U.S.A. and raised locally.
• Three in 10 value humanely raised animals, organic, natural and non-GMO.
• One in five value sustainably raised and “something different.”
Between 2009 and 2017 shoppers’ top reasons for choosing meat shifted. While long term health effect was number one in 2009, “free from” was number one in 2017.
Better nutritional value, number two in 2009, was replaced by better health/treatment of animals.
Surveys showed 53 per cent of consumers are interested in buying meal kits where the whole meal has been packaged.
Ron Walter can be reached at ronjoy@ sasktel.net