retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the American Meat Institute (AMI) are out with their annual "Power of Meat" survey, revealing that while "price and value continue to lead meat purchasing decisions ... the focus on price is no longer as strong as it has been in the past two years, as high income shoppers ease up on money-saving measures."

Excerpts:

• "For the first time in eight years, the number of meals grocery shoppers prepared that featured a portion of protein declined from 4.1 to 3.6 meals per week, but the share of shoppers eating meat and poultry at least once a week remained stable at 93 percent. Portion control, driven by the quest to save money and protein diversity, is the primary catalyst for change."

• "While shoppers continue to display a great degree of flexibility, switching between brands, species and cuts, a greater share of shoppers reported preferring national brands outright. Despite that trend, shoppers preferring private-brand meat and poultry held steady. Higher income households, in particular, reported a return to an outright preference for national brands."

• "The share of shoppers who have purchased natural and/or organic meat and poultry rose to 26 percent, with a particularly high penetration among higher-income shoppers. Most notably, 73 percent of supermarket shoppers purchase organic/natural meat at their primary store, the highest level in eight years ­– moving the natural/organic purchase from the specialty channels to supermarkets, warehouse clubs and supercenters."

• "While 'mom' was the leading resource for how to best prepare meat and poultry in 2012, she was edged out by digital resources (websites, apps, blogs) this year. Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents said they would consult online resources compared to 23 percent who prefer to ask family members.  In addition, the report also explores nutrition tools and how shoppers are making more educated decisions in the meat department. Indeed, consensus among shoppers was that the industry provides adequate tools to help them make informed decisions, jumping from 57 percent in 2009 to 72 percent in 2013."
KC's View:
I assume the words "horse meat" will be included in the survey next year ... the scandal is too fresh, I suspect, to have been included in this year's numbers.

I'm not really kidding here. I wonder the extent to which all the horse meat stories, even though they're focusing on events taking place in Europe, may be prompting US consumers to wonder about the products they are buying and feeding their children.