Majority of shoppers believe meat, poultry important to diet

"Power of Meat" survey findings mostly consistent across all generations.

The 11th annual “Power of Meat” survey, released yesterday by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), found that the majority of shoppers — more than eight in 10 — believe meat and poultry are important sources of protein and other key nutrients in a healthy, balanced diet. The report examined meat purchasing, preparation and consumption trends through the eyes of the shopper.

The survey, conducted by 210 Analytics LLC, in partnership with The Cryovac Brand, a part of Sealed Air’s Food Care Division revealed consumers place a high value on convenience, variety and transparency when making purchasing decisions in the meat aisle.

The annual series found that consumers were most likely to report that red meat, including beef, pork and lamb, were important to energy levels and provided nutrients such as iron and protein. Meanwhile, maintaining a healthy weight and receiving vital nutrients were factors associated with poultry. The findings were consistent across generations, with Millennials only slightly less likely to cite meat and poultry’s health benefits.

“Meat and poultry remain shoppers’ go-to source for protein and essential nutrients,” NAMI president and chief executive officer Barry Carpenter said. “The industry is working hard to respond to consumer demands for transparency and is continuing to offer a variety of convenient, flavorful and nutritious fresh and processed products to an increasingly diverse consumer base, particularly with regards to Millennial shoppers, whose influence is growing at retail.”

Supermarkets strengthened their position as shoppers’ primary destination for meat and poultry, although consumers increasingly chose alternative channels, like farmers markets, dollar stores, farm-direct and online stores, for certain meat and poultry purchases. This trend was particularly evident among Millennial consumers, who exhibited a higher propensity to shop at alternative outlets for meat products.

While inclusion of meat and poultry as a portion of a home-cooked dinner remained steady at 3.7 times per week, shoppers changed their purchasing patterns slightly and sought more variety in their dinner lineups, with upticks in pork, lamb, value-added products and meat alternatives. Convenience meats, which include heat-and-eat, ready-to-eat and value-added products, also experienced sales growth, particularly among Millennial shoppers, who seek flavorful, fast and easy meal solutions.

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