Consumer Perceptions By Michael Uetz
Michael Uetz is a managing principal in the Chicago office of Midan Marketing where he oversees the work of the market research team.

Understanding meat eaters’ key drivers to purchase

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)

As a researcher who has been tracking the consumers’ relationship with meat for many years, I get very excited when the consumer is the headliner at an industry conference. This was the case at the 2019 Annual Meat Conference held in Dallas earlier this month.

Nowhere was the consumer more the star of the show than the Power of Meat (POM) presentation. This 14th edition of the research, executed and delivered by Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics, included extensive data on how today’s meat consumers eat, shop and live. Anne-Marie identified three key drivers that we all need to be aware of because of their significance to today’s consumers: extreme value, extreme convenience and extreme experience.

Extreme Value: According to the POM, value is top of mind for most consumers today. It can be delivered through what Anne-Marie called “WOW pricing,” or it can simply mean that we communicate effectively to our target consumers about what our products deliver to meet their needs and they are willing to pay the price for it, because they see value in our offering. 

Extreme Convenience: Sales of meal kits and other convenient meal solutions are growing because consumers are more time-strapped than ever. Technologies in packaging, home delivery or easy check out (think Amazon Go store formats where you don’t even need to pull out your wallet) are allowing consumers to save time when planning, shopping for and preparing meals.

Extreme Experience: This is what keeps Gen Zs coming into our stores even though they could easily do all their shopping online. They want to be entertained! To keep them coming, retailers are going to need to ramp up the effort to create memorable experiences, providing them with demonstrations, information, variety, expanded meal solutions stations and on-the-spot cook-for-you options.

The POM research broadly spells out what consumers are looking for today. But we know not all consumers are created alike. That’s why I think it is important to dig deeper.  The better we understand the various consumer types and how they align with these drivers, the better we can communicate with them. So, if you are like me, you are curious about which consumer type is most likely to respond to a value offering or what kind of meat shopper demands convenience above all else.

That’s where consumer segmentation comes in. Segmentation allows you to separate consumers with similar attitudes, perceptions and behaviors into groups that you can study and target.  Recent research conducted by our Customer Insights Team at Midan Marketing divides meat consumers into five distinct segments, each with unique characteristics that drive their meat purchases. For example, shoppers in the Convenience Chaser segment (30% of U.S. meat consumers) are looking for convenience first with little interest in claims while Rising Flexitarians (16%) are trend setters who love all red meat but are increasingly replacing it with plant-based proteins.

Continuing to follow and understand consumer trends is critical as you develop and market meat products. But it is also important to narrow down your consumer target and learn everything there is to know about them. Using consumer segmentation to better understand your specific target customer base is one of the best ways to determine and deliver on “who” wants “what.”

Get an overview of the five segments identified in our meat consumer segmentation research here.  


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