Economy impacts where consumers eat, shop

by Staff
Share This:

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.

Comment on this Article
We welcome your thoughtful comments. Please comply with our Community rules.

The views expressed in the comments section of Food Business News do not reflect those of Food Business News or its parent company, Sosland Publishing Co., Kansas City, Mo. Concern regarding a specific comment may be registered with the Editor by clicking the Report Abuse link.