By: Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, FMI

People Celebrating with Food and Meat

Have you noticed that shoppers like to celebrate more these days? I remember celebrating the big occasions — holidays, promotions, birthdays — but nowadays I see shoppers celebrating even the small things — lesser-known holidays, just a nice sunny day or the chance to treat yourself. I love the enhanced spirit of celebration folks are feeling and from a food retail merchandising perspective, there is an opportunity, particularly for the meat department.

According to the Power of Meat 2024, nine in 10 shoppers are willing to spend a little extra on meat and poultry. We see holidays (45%), special occasions (37%) and cookouts or entertaining (35%) among the major reasons shoppers are willing to spend more on meat and poultry. This willingness to splurge on celebrations holds true across generations and income levels.

Ways to Merchandise for Celebrations

Help shoppers with celebration planning by offering recipe ideas, convenient solutions and cross-merchandising between departments. For example, as shoppers consider birthday party desserts, maybe entice them with special occasion main courses as well.

Food retailers can also spark celebration by offering regular promotions for Taco Tuesday or Date Night along with recipes and pairing suggestions. Remember to bring the celebration online with cooking videos, convenience tips and simple how-tos.  

Keep Convenience Top of Mind

When it comes to a typical week, shoppers tell us they are having 4.6 meals on average prepared and eaten at home and 87% of home-prepared dinners contain a portion of meat/poultry. Many of these meals are hybrid meals, featuring items cooked from scratch and convenience-focused items, such as value-added or fully-cooked items.

It's important to keep convenience in mind when offering an assortment of meat and poultry items. Value-added options that are pre-marinated or reduce prep and cook time are important for time-strapped shoppers. At the same time, shoppers want meal ideation support with weekly meal plans and recipe and cooking tips.

Play to Meat’s Strengths

It’s important to keep in mind the strengths that meat and poultry offer shoppers including that meat is a good source of protein and consumers enjoy the taste of meat. Seventy-three percent of shoppers agree that “meat and poultry belong in a healthy balanced lifestyle.” In addition, 92% of consumers agree that something can be a great price but if it doesn’t taste good they won’t buy it again. Remember to focus on these key attributes of meat and poultry and remind shoppers of their benefits.

Download Power of Meat 2024