March 14, 2008
March 14, 2008 - High energy costs, the credit crunch, weak housing market and recessionary climate are changing how and where consumers shop and dine, including more home meals and an increased concern over the cost of meat, according to the third annual report titled The Power of Meat - An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shoppers' Eyes.
The report, which details the findings of a national online poll of 1,147 of consumers conducted in November 2007, was released at the 2008 Annual Meat Conference, March 9-11, 2008, in Nashville, Tenn.
The American Meat Institute (AMI) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) published this consumer research, which was sponsored by Sealed Air's Cryovac Food Packaging Division.
Supermarkets remain the top outlet for meat, with 90.5 percent of supermarket shoppers buying their meat there as well. The number of shoppers buying meat at supercenters dropped from 24.9 percent to 20 percent, while the number buying meat at club stores rose from 2.7 percent to 5.7 percent.
The study found that 30 percent of shoppers would increase meat case purchases even more if the packaging were leak-proof.
The study also found that meat continues to be a staple at American dinner tables. According to the study, the average family has five dinners at home per week, with an average of 4.2 of these meals including a meat item. Chicken and beef are the top meat choices, with more than 80 percent eating chicken and beef at least once a week and more than 34 percent eating chicken and beef at least three times a week.
Meat Shoppers Looking For Best Value Consumers ranked price per pound as the most important factor when selecting meat -averaging a 4.6 on a scale from 1 to 6. This was up from 2006 and 2007 and may be linked to rising food prices.
The report notes that energy costs are having an increasing impact on shoppers' disposable income. "Large numbers of shoppers already have made changes, ranging from eating out less, purchasing less expensive products while in the store and even switching primary stores," the report notes.
Other features important to consumers when selecting meat included product appearance, package size/total package price, nutritional content, knowledge of how to prepare and preparation time required. Reprinted in part from FMI.org