Consumers seek transparency in the meat case

October 11, 2010

The newly released results of the 2010 National Meat Case Study (NMCS) reveal changes in the retail meat case as retailers responded to evolving consumer needs. Four major areas showed the most significant changes in the audit of the United States’ meat case, illustrating how retailers have adapted to meet customer demand:

  • Branding: The percent of packages carrying a store brand grew to 36%, tripling since 2004. Store brands have increased significantly across all proteins.
  • Consumer information: More packages include nutrition information (61%) and cooking instructions (39%). This year’s audit also captured packages that included country-of-origin labeling and bilingual labeling.
  • Case ready: Case-ready products in the meat case now represent 66% of packages. All proteins are either maintaining or increasing their percentage of case-ready packages over previous audits.
  • Natural: This claim grew in 2010 to 32%, up 10 percentage points from 2004.

“This year’s National Meat Case Study showed some major shifts in how retailers are merchandising fresh meat products to their customers,” said Jarrod Sutton, Assistant Vice President of Channel Marketing for the National Pork Board. “As consumers continue to demand transparency and more information about the products they purchase, we expect to see these numbers shift even more in the coming years.”

Case study executive summary (pdf)