Economy impacts where consumers eat, shop
March 11, 2008
by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
NASHVILLE, TENN. — Consumers increasingly are eating meals at home and becoming concerned about the cost of meat, according to "The Power of Meat — An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shoppers’ Eyes," a report from the American Meat Institute, Washington, and the Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va.
Such concerns are the results of high energy costs, the credit crunch, a weak housing market and general economic conditions.
Supermarkets are the top outlet for meat with 90.5% of supermarket shoppers buying their meat there. The overall number of shoppers buying meat at supercenters dropped from 24.9% to 20%, and the number of consumers buying meat at club stores rose from 2.7% to 5.7%.
"Consumers know that meat delivers protein and other essential nutrients," said Janet Riley, A.M.I. senior vice-president of public affairs and professional development. "Processors are offering an increasing variety of convenient meat and poultry products in a wide array of nutrition and flavor formulations that are being well-received."
Almost 79% of shoppers have access to a full-service meat counter at their store, and 70% reported all their meat purchases were selected from the self-service area. The research also found 30% of shoppers would increase meat case purchases if packaging were leak-proof. Consumers ranked price per pound as the most important factor in selecting meet with product appearance, package size/total package price, nutritional content, knowledge of preparation and preparation time being other important factors.
More than 80% of shoppers said organic meat and poultry is more expensive by either a little or a lot, and 73% of occasional organic shoppers would purchase more frequently if prices were lower. Despite the cost, one-fifth of shoppers said they purchase such products for benefits such as positive long-term personal health, better nutritional value and a concern for animal welfare.
The research polled 1,147 consumers in November.