Price pressure


By Erica Shaffer, Meat+Poultry 



The ripple effect of the past two years of economic upheaval continues to shape US consumers’ purchasing behaviors as revealed in the 2022 Power of Meat study presented by Anne-Marie Roerink, president of 210 Analytics, San Antonio, Texas, during a webinar hosted by the North American Meat Institute and FMI – The Food Industry Association and sponsored by Sealed Air.


Consumers are adjusting their meat purchases to ease pressures from inflation and supply chain disruptions, as 38% of shoppers acknowledged seeing more out of stocks and 21% said they see less variety. Additionally, 72% of respondents said they have changed retail meat purchases.


According to the study, 75% of consumers have noted higher meat and poultry prices and 43% see fewer promotions. In response, 61% said they save money by eating out or ordering in less and instead try to recreate restaurant experiences at home (62%).


Shoppers are on the lookout for meat promotions amid higher prices, although there were fewer promotions available, the Power of Meat study said. Still, 75% of shoppers check specials pre-trip, 80% compare prices/promotions across items in-store and 89% look for the ideal package price.


And where shoppers find promotions continues to change. In-store signs, the digital circular and store apps exceed the use of the once-dominant printed circular, according to the Power of Meat study. Cents-off the price per pound is the top discount, followed by meat BOGOs.


Given higher prices across the grocery store, value dominated the meat purchase and private brands grew as a consumer-preferred choice, according to the Power of Meat.


“The outright preference for manufacturer brands reached a 17-year high of 29% in fresh meat, and private brand preferences reached new records for both fresh (31%) and processed (26%) meat,” the study said. Additional factors playing into consumer focus on value included product quality/appearance together with price per pound and/or the total package price.


Higher prices and meals at home combined to produce another sales record for meat, despite lower volume. Dollar sales increased 0.3% to $81.8 billion, but volume declined 5.6% compared with 2020, according to the study. Data from IRI showed that shoppers made fewer trips to buy meat but spent more per trip, while household penetration remained high, at 98.5%...


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