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REtail Insights

What’s happening with Beef at Retail?  These monthly articles leverage scanner data and other sources to inform retailers and other channel audiences on key beef industry trends and measures at retail.  The topics may vary by month.  

We welcome your feedback, and if you are interested in a specific topic, please let us know by contacting BeefNewsNow@beef.org.

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IT’S PRIME TIME TO MARKET PRIME BEEF

There’s more higher-quality beef in the marketplace, thanks to advances beef farmers and ranchers have made in technology, genetics, and nutrition. With Choice beef available in most grocers’ meat cases, some retailers are offering their shoppers Prime beef to differentiate themselves in the competitive marketplace.

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pistachio crusted prime rib with holiday wine sauce

CONSUMERS CELEBRATE WINTER HOLIDAYS WITH BEEF

While summer grilling season remains in full swing, retailers will soon turn to winter holiday planning when beef will again, take center-stage.  Ground Beef, Chuck Center Roasts, Ribeye Steaks and other options will remain in shoppers’ carts through back-to-school and the fall, but beef takes December holidays to a whole other level.

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retail meat case

PLANT-BASED MEAT SUBSTITUTES DRIVE HEADLINES, BEEF DRIVES retail SALES

Meat and poultry consumption is expected to hit record highs this year. However, the news about animal proteins’ popularity has been overshadowed by recent headlines generated by plant-based meat substitutes, with national foodservice distribution deals and IPOs garnering attention in both trade and mainstream media. It is important to look beyond the headlines to put these next-generation meat substitutes, and the claims made by the companies producing these products, in context with sales numbers and consumer perceptions, as well as environmental and nutritional facts.

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culinary center

IT’S WAY MORE THAN JUST A KITCHEN: THE NATIONAL CATTLEMEN’S BEEF ASSOCIATION CULINARY CENTER, FUNDED BY THE BEEF CHECKOFF

Way more than a kitchen, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Culinary Center, funded by the Beef Checkoff is a beef-centric educational destination which provides culinary support and resources for Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. programming and beyond.

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Regional Sales

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN CONSUMERS’ LOVE OF BEEF

Consumers crave beef for its taste; yet they also value the variety, versatility, convenience and strength-providing nutrients it provides, whether for quick occasions or a sit-down meal. But how do shoppers’ choices vary by geography?  Considering cuts, grinds, product type and quality grade, this article explores retail beef sales by the eight U.S. regions to uncover purchase patterns for beef.

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FROM THE DIGITAL SHELF TO YOUR SHOPPER’S DOOR: PROMOTING BEEF PURCHASES IN THE ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING SPACE

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. executed two campaigns with Instacart – one digital campaign on the Instacart marketplace and one physical campaign with inserts in grocery bags – to measure the effectiveness of different beef marketing messages and strategies.

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Shopping for produce

BEEF DRIVES HIGHER TOTAL STORE SALES

Driving shopper traffic, particularly for stock-up trips, is critical in today’s highly competitive retail environment.  Top-line sales in this low-margin business are paramount, whether made in-store, via website or app.  While beef continues to propel meat department performance, this article looks at how beef continues to drive total store revenue, as well.

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retail meat case

RETAIL FEATURE TRENDS: BEEF REMAINS A DRIVER

Whether via in-store signage, paper circulars, digital circulars, store apps, or other means, weekly meat and poultry features have long captured shoppers’ attention.  In fact, circulars and apps almost always highlight meat department items on page one because fresh (particularly meat) draws consumers to stores. Because of this draw, retailers have run at least 12.1 million meat & poultry ads in each of the past several years, although the 2017 12.7 million-total tapered slightly in 2018 to 12.4 million ads.

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East Meets West Burgers

POPULAR AND VERSATILE – GROUND BEEF REIGNS!

Ground Beef is beef’s most versatile item.  Retailers sell multiple forms, pack sizes and types to meet a plethora of consumer needs and occasions. Fitting most any appliance, cooking method, or cuisine type, Ground Beef is often quick and convenient, as well.  No wonder it accounted for 40% of dollar sales and fully half of last year’s pound sales.

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2014 Millennial Lifestyle Photos

MIDDLE MEATS: TO THE GRILL AND BEYOND...

For many consumers, their love affair with the great taste of beef is found in middle meats – cuts from the Rib, Loin and Sirloin.  While Ground Beef, strips, cubes, end and minor primal cuts are also popular choices, consumer willingness to pay handsomely for the middle meat experience clearly confirms a special enthusiasm for these cuts.

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Mom and son at butcher counter

BEEF DROVE 2018 MEAT DEPARTMENT SALES

Year-end sales data has arrived and 2018 was an excellent year for beef at retail.  Compared to 2017, monthly beef dollar sales were higher throughout the year and total beef sales increased 6.0% nationwide.

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VISIONS OF GRILLING SEASON: WARMER WEATHER MEANS BEEF

We may be in the depths of winter, but grilling season will soon arrive.  With that in mind, let’s look at retail beef sales patterns from past summers when consumers fired up their smokers and grills, as summer planning will soon be in full swing.

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Mom and daughter at butcher counter

BEEF DEMAND... IT'S BEEN A VERY GOOD YEAR

In 2018, retail beef demand has been strong!  While that sounds good, what exactly does it mean?  Is it because consumption has continued to increase since the tight supplies of 2015?  Consumption has indeed been increasing, but this is only half the story…the other half is price.

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Options at Retail

Consumers make choices at the meat case every day, and when it comes to beef, choices abound. One such choice revolves around how cattle are raised, or whether the beef carries a specific production claim.

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Butcher Counter Associate

WHAT’S TRENDING? BEEF CUTS AT RETAIL

Using IRI/Freshlook retail scanner data, we take a look at the most trending cuts at the retail meat case.

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Leveraging IRI/Freshlook retail scanner data, we can understand buying behavior at the meat case to determine America's Top 10 Beef Cuts at retail.

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