DENVER, Colo. — Last week at the Annual Meat Conference in Dallas, Anne Marie Roerink from 210 Analytics presented the latest Power of Meat Study (POM), a consumer study on meat usage, attitudes and trends. This 18th annual study reflects on another unusual year, disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and supply chain challenges. Leveraging the long trendlines, the 2023 study aims to understand how and what changed in shoppers’ perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of meat consumption, buying and preparation.
According to the report, in 2022, meat sales soared 5.7% versus a year ago and almost 87% of all home-prepared dinners featured meat/poultry. Also, 98.3% of shoppers make retail purchases of meat.
The POM report puts 2022 US retail lamb sales (domestic and imported) at $530 million, 1.4% less than 2021 but an increase of 34.8% compared to pre-covid sales in 2019. For retail lamb volume, 2022 was 56 million pounds, 7% less than 2021 but 11% more than 2019, based on IRI retail scanner data. In 2022, two US regions experienced lamb dollar sales growth – the South Central and Southeast. In particular, the South Central has seen demand for lamb surge with dollar sales growing 12.2% between 2021 and 2022.
Inflation is a major issue for the entire meat industry. Consumers spent at least 25% more on food in 2022 than in 2019, according to IRI data. Economic conditions are prompting 76% of Americans to change what groceries they purchase, says POM.
According to the POM report “50% of meat eaters purchase meat and poultry for use over the next few days. When buying more to freeze, 66% re-portion the meat/poultry and 40% pre-cook some of it prior to freezing. The total package price rose in importance versus prior years, but overall shoppers emphasize value — quality hand-in-hand with price. Price plays a much more important role among younger meat eaters whereas Boomers emphasize quality and appearance.”
Because the meaning of value shifts among consumers, the research suggests that retailers provide solutions that deliver across major value components: price (such as specials on staples like ground meats), meal planning inspiration (especially online) and convenience (such as fresh meat and sides packaged together).
“American Lamb’s premium price has been an ongoing concern for consumers. We work hard at delivering messages about its overall value that appeal to our target consumer segments,” says Lamb Board Chairman Peter Camino.
While the majority of Americans consider themselves meat eaters and believe that meat and poultry belong in a healthy, balanced lifestyle, 33% are actively trying to consume less meat and poultry. The main reason is price, followed by concerns over the healthfulness of eating red meat, the use of antibiotics, hormones and chemicals and the effect of animal agriculture on the planet. Those looking to reduce their consumption are focused on portion size much more so than eating meatless meals. Less than 6% of meat eaters expect they will eliminate some or all meat/poultry this year, according to POM.
For more information on the 2023 Power of Meat research, contact email@example.com.
The American Lamb Board (ALB) is an industry-funded national research, promotion and information checkoff program that works on behalf of all American commercial and seedstock producers, feeders, direct marketers and processors to build awareness and demand for American Lamb. Funding is through mandatory assessments paid by all industry segments. The board is appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and represents all industry sectors, geographic regions and sizes of production. The work of the ALB is overseen by USDA and supported by staff in Denver, CO.
–American Lamb Board