Shoppers Are Trading Down in Meat Grades

Shoppers Are Trading Down in Meat Grades

Food & Drink

Shoppers Are Trading Down in Meat Grades

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Portions contributed by Janie Gabbett for Meatingplace. Used by permission.

There may be more pork on the menu.

We’re all noticing the higher price of food, and are making adjustments where we can. According to a report out from Meatingplace, as food shoppers “trade down” to cope with higher food prices, they will likely purchase cheaper cuts of meat and lower beef grades.

A Webinar on the future of food retailing, held with Willard Bishop Managing Partner Jim Hertel, predicted food inflation as high as 7 percent to 11 percent annually for at least the next two years, as increased global protein demand, reduced global grain production and biofuels competition for feed inputs such as corn continue. As a result, consumers are expected to choose cheaper cuts of meat, and the less expensive proteins (pork, chicken) over beef.

As consumers shift from eating at restaurants to purchasing retail food, and from indulgence items to cheaper private label brands, Hertel said retailers with strong private label brands such as Publix, Costco and Trader Joe’s are well placed. Whole Foods, even though it has a premium price format, also is improving its positioning by expanding its private label offerings, he noted.

However, higher-priced health and wellness foods overall could take a hit as consumers tighten their belts, with less-understood functional foods (those with health-enhancing additives) even more vulnerable than organics, Hertel predicted.

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