Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Shows Retailers That Beef Is the Most Valuable Protein During 2020 Annual Meat Conference

More than 1,750 Annual Meat Conference attendees, including retailers, processors and packers, learned that beef is the most valuable protein in terms of sales1 and how the Beef Quality Assurance program is helping improve consumer attitudes about beef. The premier retail event featured comprehensive education sessions, updates on the latest developments in meat at retail and networking opportunities.

The highlight of Annual Meat Conference is always the release of the latest iteration of the Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shopper’s Eyes report, which is a comprehensive look at retail sales data and consumer attitudes and behavior regarding purchasing meat. This year was no exception and it contained good news for retailers’ meat departments: meat department sales have accelerated 1% to $50.4 billion over 2019, with volume sales up 0.1%2. Beef had the strongest gains amongst all proteins in both dollars and volume, with dollar sales up 1.5% and volume up 0.7%3, reiterating its position as the MVP (most valuable protein) of the grocery store4. This has benefits far beyond the meat department, as baskets with beef generate a higher average purchase total when compared to baskets with other animal proteins, and sales 19 times greater than carts with beef substitutes5.

The report as well as educational sessions and panels also discussed challenges retailers are facing. The bright side is that Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. already has available resources that can help retailers overcome some of these challenges:

  • The Power of Meat reported that two-thirds of consumers feel it is important for grocery stores to provide transparency into how/where livestock was raised, but 42% of shoppers are unsure whether their meat and poultry comes from ethically-treated animals6Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. is already working to improve consumer trust by educating shoppers about the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, a voluntary, Beef Checkoff-funded program, that ensures U.S. beef is produced under stringent animal care standards, resulting in high-quality beef. Today, thanks to commitment of cattle farmers and ranchers, more than 85 percent of beef comes from BQA certified farmers and ranchers. More than two-thirds of consumers agreed that learning about BQA increased their confidence that beef cattle are treated humanely7.

    AMC attendees had the opportunity to speak with Kim Brackett, an Idaho-based cattle rancher and BQA advisory group chair, about how she focuses on animal care, grazing practices, cattle genetics, wildlife habitat and soil health at the tradeshow booth run by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. For those who didn’t have the chance to speak with Kim, our website offers more information, as well as a recorded webinar, about the BQA program and its associated consumer campaign.

  • A workshop on the grocery retail trends impacting today’s world and beyond focused on the changing retail environment, requiring retail operators to adapt to consumer demand for convenience, value and unique experiences. For grocers, a top-tier meat case can act as a differentiator to draw shoppers into stores. Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. offers complimentary assets to assist grocery retailers with enhancing their in-store and digital meat cases with educational information to entice shoppers to try different beef cuts.

  • The grocery retail trends session also suggested that meat packaging must work harder in a “frictionless retail environment.” As demonstrated in our booth, the simple addition of the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. logo to packaging increases purchase intent thanks to a rise in credibility and trust8, which represents a major partnership opportunity for processors and retailers. Reach out to NCBA to learn more about these opportunities. 

Don’t suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) if you weren’t able to attend this year’s conference in Nashville, as our vast array of information and assets which can help retailers boost their bottom lines are available at

  1. IRI Panel Data, Market Basket Study, February 2019
  2. The Power of Meat 2020: An in-depth look at meat through the shopper’s eyes, FMI Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research and Education
  3. The Power of Meat 2020: An in-depth look at meat through the shopper’s eyes, FMI Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research and Education
  4. IRI Panel Data, Market Basket Study, February 2019
  5. IRI Panel Data, Market Basket Study, February 2019
  6. The Power of Meat 2020: An in-depth look at meat through the shopper’s eyes, FMI Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research and Education
  7. 2018 Responsible Beef Exploration, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  8. Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Package Test