How Do We Drive On-Hand Demand?

The insights uncovered in the Dinner at Home in America report identified a number of areas where the pork industry can take action to improve sales and better meet consumer demands. Let’s not lose sight of the many bright spots the report identified, though, including this:

Looking at receipt-capture data, consumers who purchased pork, beef or chicken at retail, we discovered that annually, pork shoppers spend on their grocery baskets:

  • $424 more than chicken shoppers
  • $335 more than beef shoppers

Pork shoppers also make more trips to the store each year — five more than beef shoppers, and six more than chicken shoppers. When pork is in the basket, the basket’s worth more at checkout.

Unfortunately, there are fewer fresh pork shoppers than fresh beef or chicken shoppers, so figuring out how to make fresh pork an “on-hand” meat will give our industry more opportunities to be successful.

Sixty-two percent of in-home dinner occasions used a fresh meat because it was on hand, either in the fridge or freezer.

This stat is especially true for those having Elevated Fridge Surfing occasions (146 index). These diners gravitate toward meals that satisfy their cravings, but they also stick to ingredients they already have on hand and don’t require much thought. We need to help these diners see fresh pork as a simple, versatile option that will take their favorite recipes up a notch.

Simplicity and convenience are table stakes. If fresh pork isn’t perceived as easy to cook, people won’t buy it. On-pack messaging can help us bridge the gap.

According to the 2018 Power of Meat survey, consumers respond favorably to on-pack information. Recipes and cooking guidance can give them the tools to learn the best way to prepare pork.

Last fall, the Pork Checkoff worked with a 180+ store chain in the Northeast to help customers better understand proper end-point cooking temperatures. Each store received “Grill It Like A Steak” stickers to put on fresh pork packages to emphasize that pork is flavorful, juicy and safe when cooked to 145°F. The chain quickly decided that its initial order of 180,000 stickers was not enough, and ended up ordering a total of 500,000+ labels for its meat departments.
Reinforcing the 145°F end-point cooking temperature is important, but we know that not all cooks have good, reliable digital probe thermometers, especially if they’re making a routine dinner. So on-pack instructions around cooking times for common cuts is also crucial.

The bottom line: We have to teach them how to cook pork properly, so they’ll have a great eating experience. If we can do that, they’ll buy it more frequently!

Want a bit more context on Elevated Fridge Surfing? Check out our brief video webinar!

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