- More than eight in 10 consumers said that meat and poultry play important roles as protein sources in a healthy diet, according to the annual Power of Meat survey released by the Food Marketing Institute and the North American Meat Institute.
- Price continues to be the driving factor for meat purchase decisions, particularly price per pound but also total package price.
- Consumers also continue to demand increased transparency from meat producers, evidenced by high growth percentages for segments such as antibiotic-free, hormone-free, grass-fed, natural, and organic, though they remain niche categories overall.
Today's consumers are driving the convenience trend, which is pushing meat producers to consider transforming their products into snack options. Hormel did this last year with Spam Snacks and Jennie-O All Natural Turkey Breast Sticks. Tyson's Hillshire Brands launched Hillshire Snacking nationally earlier this year, which includes products like snackable grilled meat bites and Lunchables-style cracker, meat, and cheese combo packages.
Meats tend to be affiliated with full meals, but as consumers more often use snacks as meal replacements, meat producers are finding new consumption opportunities to maintain consumers' interest in meat at all times of day.
Meat sales were a major concern for producers when the Dietary Guidelines were still being debated. Initially, suggestions for the guidelines included a reduction of red meat consumption, but the finalized guidelines did not make such a sweeping recommendation.