The term “Value Added Meat” is used a lot in today’s retail environment, and it’s one of the fastest growing and most profitable categories in the meat case today. Thus, many stores across all formats offer some form of a value-added meat selection. However, do they all truly understand the mindset of the shopper and the benefits they’re seeking? Understanding the mindsets and benefits is critical to developing winning strategies around messaging, assortment, merchandising, pricing and promotion.
To gain a deeper understanding of this shopper, Cargill conducted shop-a-long ethnographic research across multiple markets and retailers. The research specifically addressed their attitudes, motivations and the role that value-added meat plays in their lives.
Overall 5 key themes emerged, and while some may not be surprising on the surface, there are key insights once you dig a little deeper that are subtle yet incredibly important.
- TIME: The most often mentioned reason for desiring and purchasing value-added meat. This seems obvious but it’s about understanding why consumers want to save time that can inform strategies. Reasons range from wanting more time to relax to having work or family commitments that leave little time to prepare dinner. Motivations for both are to save time, however, messaging and merchandising strategies for each consumer may look different depending on the reasons they want to save time.
- SKILL: Many consumers lack the culinary skills required to make the meal they want. This theme may also seem obvious, but retailers must understand that lacking culinary skill doesn’t mean these consumers will accept all value-added meats that make preparing meals easier. These consumers tend to seek dishes that aren’t too simple but also aren’t too complicated.
- PACKAGING: This can be as important as the cut of meat itself. Using packaging that lets consumers see the meat and communicates freshness will be key to reassuring value-added meat consumers that the product is high quality.
- AWARENESS: Many consumers indicated value-added meats were hard to find and didn’t receive as much signage as other categories. Centralizing these products in one section and simply increasing the messaging around the store will likely help drive additional sales.
- PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES: Offering products that are made from cuts, spices or marinades that are familiar but aren’t readily available at home is very important to these consumers. Indulgence, freshness, low sodium and sustainability are all attributes that will add pricing power and drive purchase.
“We believe the value added fresh meat category has tremendous upside, however, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not one size fits all,” said Sarah Frick, Cargill Value Added Brand Manager. “To continue this positive momentum and realize the full potential of value-added meat, retailers will need the insights that can dive below the surface and ultimately inform strategies across messaging, assortment, merchandising, pricing and promotions.”
To learn more about how these insights and pertain to your business or to learn about Cargill’s Value Added portfolio, contact your local Cargill Protein representative.