The recession temporarily slowed growth in the more expensive “natural” and “organic” categories, but that growth has picked up again, particularly among higher-income groups. The percentage of people who have purchased natural and organic rose to 26 percent in 2013, and nearly one-quarter of current shoppers expect they will purchase more natural and organic meat and poultry. The main reason consumers purchase these products is a perception they have positive long-term health benefits.
The authors point out that the industry and retailers have an opportunity to boost sales by educating consumers about meat and meat preparation. For example, survey results indicate 40 percent of consumers consider themselves “very knowledgeable” on how to prepare beef, pork or lamb, while 49 percent say they manage and 11 percent say they could use help. Thirty-one percent consider themselves very knowledgeable about the USDA grading system while 54 say they get by and 15 acknowledge they could use help. Just 21 percent consider themselves very knowledgeable about the nutritional content of different cuts of meat, while 59 percent get by and 20 say they could use help.
The full report is available for purchase from the Food Marketing Institute.