Will making our everyday meals more special boost the meat industry?
Seasonal events throughout the year can generate both added engagement and, therefore, sales for certain categories in the food and drink industry. However, increasingly, retailers want to create and win everyday “specialness”, not just saving it for the big occasions.
Everyday meal occasions range from food eaten as fuel, in front of the TV, social, and romantic. However, the level of emotional engagement in an event drastically affects the amount of money we are prepared to spend on that specific meal. The emotional engagement and spend on an occasion often also links to the amount of meat purchased for that occasion. The lesser spend and engagement, for example when food is purchased purely as fuel, the less meat is eaten. In contrast, a celebration occasion is more likely to have a high meat content.
The level of meat consumed in everyday meal occasions directly correlates with the emotional value and amount spent. The chart below shows that higher value occasions such as celebration contains more meat than a lower value meal, for example, a meal consumed in front of the computer. Both lamb and beef benefit from higher value occasions, as it is likely consumers are more willing to spend more on higher priced food items.
For pork, the benefit is smaller as it appeals more than beef and lamb to a standard everyday meal occasion. However, pork eaten as fuel is more likely to consist of ham, bacon and other processed pork products, whereas romantic and celebration occasions are more likely to consist of fresh pork. As UK pork producers have a greater share of the fresh pork market, a drive towards higher value occasions might also benefit the domestic pig industry.
Opportunities for fresh meat could be to adapt dishes to be more on the go, or quick and convenient, to increase its share in fuel, quick bite, and in front of the TV occasions. The lower engagement occasions are likely to have less time spent cooking, and are more likely to be dish based, another opportunity for these meats. With “on the go”, convenient products often being made up of less meat, more product innovation to include a higher content of fresh meat in items like pastas, salads, sandwiches and instant snacks, may be another step forward for the industry.
To read more about consumer trends click here.
Emily Beardshaw, Analyst
Emily.Beardshaw@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8756