In the battle to find a regular “on-hand” place in consumer’s refrigerators or freezers, fresh pork finishes behind fresh beef and fresh chicken because it’s not part of the shopper’s routine. Getting pork into those routine, on-hand occasions is important not just for the pork industry, but for retailers, too: Pork shoppers spend more in store and make more trips to the store per year than both beef shoppers and chicken shoppers.

 

Pork Shoppers are Big Spenders

Pork shoppers are worth $335 more per year than beef shoppers, and $424 more than chicken shoppers. Pork shoppers also make more trips to the store per year than beef or chicken shoppers.

Looking at consumers who purchased pork at retail: How many retail trips did they make last year that had pork in their basket (regardless of what else was also included)? What was the total value of those baskets?

To increase baskets and pork demand, getting pork on-hand is crucial: 62 percent of in-home dinner occasions when fresh meat was served occurred because it was on-hand, either in the fridge or freezer.

To get fresh pork within easy reach at home, the industry must:

  • Make it simple: Fresh pork has to be an easy, go-to choice, especially when it comes to planning and prep.
  • Make it versatile: Fresh pork must fit well into a variety of meals and flavor profiles to earn approval from all family members at the table.
  • Promote its health benefits: Fresh pork’s high levels of protein and other health benefits need to be clear and top of mind.

Pork chops are the strongest cut, but they also account for the biggest gap between loyal and light buyers of fresh pork. Millennial consumers drive that gap, under-indexing in chops especially, but also in tenderloin, roast and ribs. Growth potential lies in ground pork and pork bellies, which skew toward millennials.

The idea that fresh pork is difficult to cook acts as the leading barrier to it being on-hand, followed closely by shoppers’ beliefs that it has high fat content and contributes to high cholesterol.

Fresh pork does not own the hearts, stomachs and wallets of meat consumers, but there are some potential ways for packers and retailers to improve fresh pork’s standing and increase its likelihood of being kept on-hand.

Packaging or in-store signage, for example, can emphasize how pork tastes great for everyone in a household and is adaptable to whatever craving a family might have, such as Mexican, Italian, barbecue or other flavors and cuisines. Add simple, easy-to-follow cooking instructions on the packaging. Include more single-serve options to offer an easy, in-the-moment answer to the “what’s for dinner?” question. Touting high protein levels in bigger or bolder print on brand labels or at display cases can highlight pork as a better-for-you choice to have on-hand than beef and other meats.



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