The Meat of the Matter
By George Anderson
A new study released by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and American Meat Institute (AMI), The Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shoppers’ Eyes, finds that traditional supermarkets have an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by developing their departments to meet the needs of local consumers.
Michael Sansolo, senior vice president for FMI, echoed this sentiment in a released statement: “Effective meat marketing and merchandising strategies provide supermarkets with a prime opportunity to differentiate their stores from other venues and grow their customer base.”
Janet Riley, senior vice president for AMI, put it succinctly. “American consumers prefer meat with their meals,” she said.
When it comes to determining the meat products consumers purchase, the study says price is the primary factor. According to the research, 90 percent of meat shoppers compare prices within the store and 80 percent do price comparisons across multiple locations.
The good news for supermarkets is that the vast majority of their shoppers (86 percent) who do most of their shopping in traditional stores buy their meat there. Those who go outside the channel are most likely to seek out a warehouse club (4.7 percent) or butcher shop (also 4.7 percent).
Interestingly, more than one in four supercenter shoppers go outside that channel to buy their meat.
While price is the primary factor in determining meat purchases, consumers are increasingly interested in buying items they perceive to be more healthful and of superior quality. Case in point is organic meats where 17.4 percent of shoppers report having purchased an item from this category in the past three months. The greatest percentage of these consumers bought their organic meat in supermarkets (48 percent), followed by natural/organic food stores (29 percent), butcher shops (10 percent), supercenters (9.3 percent) and warehouse clubs (1.1 percent).
Moderator’s Comment: How can conventional supermarkets use their meat departments to gain a competitive advantage?
Are there specific operators that you can point to that have used their meat department as a way to establish a point of difference with competitors? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Meat Departments Provide Significant Competitive Edge for Supermarkets, According to New Study –
Food Marketing Institute (FMI)