According to the 2022 report “The Power of Meat” by 210 Analytics LLC, (with a sample size of 3,822 consumers), the major factors in their meat purchasing decisions were product quality/appearance at 60%. A combination of price and quality 48% and purely price 39%. The next two factors were nutritional content 25% and statements like 23% organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free etc.

Ranked in priority:

  1. Quality 60%
  2. Quality & price 48%
  3. Price only 39%
  4. Additional motivating factors included nutritional content 25% and health farming statements 23%

In most supermarkets, club stores and supercenters at least 90% of sales are of conventionally produced and processed meat and poultry. Meat and poultry is seeing higher than average inflation. According to the Power of Meat, year-on-year the price of groceries increased 15% and compared to pre-pandemic levels prices are up 25-27%. Retailers have begun to experiment with different unit sizes and in recent months there has been a shift to smaller packages.

Alternative proteins are gaining a foothold in the market. Although both animal specialty proteins and alternative proteins account for only a fraction of total market sales, they are still worthy of attention.

Plant-based alternatives grew triple digits in the early years, but slowed significantly, and last year recorded a double-digit decline. This decline has caused retailers to reassess their merchandising decisions, removing these items from their meat divisions or simply reducing their overall SKUs.

Lab-grown meat is not yet widely available, but question marks remain about its future in the market and consumers are sceptical.

Large-scale production and processing will likely remain a necessity as the global population continues to rapidly increase. The United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs projects the world’s population to reach 9.8 billion by 2050.

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