How to Get Your Meat Case Ready for the Holidays

In January of this year, consumers were thinking almost a full year ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they were worried.

According to research published that month, almost nine out of 10 (89%) consumers surveyed said they expected inflation would have an impact on their 2022 holiday shopping and spending.1 Just a few months later, 56% of consumers indicated that they “somewhat agree, agree, or strongly agree” that they will “seek out less expensive meat” than they normally purchase.2

Position pork cuts as an appealing alternative to traditional holiday cuts such as roasts.
This holiday season is shaping up to be different than most, with rising food costs, inflation and supply chain issues all contributing to unease among consumers. That puts employees at the meat case in a position to help shoppers select products to make their holidays memorable, even if they are shopping with a smaller budget.

Here are four trends to consider as you prepare for the 2022 holidays.

1. Beef prices are on the rise. This is not news to anyone in the grocery business. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted in April of this year that at-home food prices will rise an average of 5% to 6% through the end of 2022. Beef prices are expected to increase between 6% and 7%.3

How you can prepare: Position pork cuts as an appealing alternative to traditional holiday cuts such as roasts. Pork prices are predicted to increase 4% to 5% during 2022, according to the USDA. Pork tenderloin and pork roast can be good alternatives for your customers who are trying to stick to a budget. Shoppers who want to stick with beef may be willing to consider substituting less costly cuts, such as strip loin and sirloin, for prime rib. The meat case is the perfect place to educate them about the attributes of different cuts and how best to prepare them.

2. Even in the face of inflation, consumers are willing to spend more on premium products. People who are celebrating with friends and family “will spend on more expensive items if they provide value to their families (larger size to feed many) … and/or to reward themselves or impress others, and/or if they trust the products’ attributes or brand, and if they perceive it is cheaper than alternatives in-store or out-of-the-home.”4

In other words, if people are going to splurge, it will most likely be for large gatherings and celebrations.

How you can prepare: Stock your meat cases with premium programs. Chairman’s Reserve® Meats offers a dual-tier beef and pork program, including Chairman’s Reserve Platinum® Angus Beef and Chairman’s Reserve Prime Pork. Chairman’s Reserve Meats are hand selected and hand trimmed to ensure consistent size, marbling and quality.

3. Demand for case ready products is higher than ever. Increased sales volume during the winter holiday season is great for business but can create labor bottlenecks in your back of house, especially when it comes to beef and pork.

How you can prepare: Make sure you’re well stocked with case ready beef and pork. These specialty cuts are a highly effective labor-saving solution for retailers, while helping ensure quality and consistency.

In other words, if people are going to splurge, it will most likely be for large gatherings and celebrations.
4. Embrace eCommerce and social media. Most meal planning takes place online, according to a Chicory consumer study, with 63% of respondents doing some of or all of their meal planning digitally. Just under 90% use online recipes.5

With the continued popularity of online purchasing, you’ll want to pay attention to these two shifts in behavior, which are attributed to the pandemic. Also consider this fact when creating social media efforts around holiday shopping: According to Chicory, the most popular recipe in its network in 2021 was for green bean casserole, a Thanksgiving favorite. It just goes to show that shoppers go online for holiday-specific recipes – even traditional ones.

How you can prepare: Nearly half of meat shoppers make regular online purchases. Look for ways to align your eCommerce and social media efforts with recipes, meal planning inspiration and discounts to drive purchases online and in-store.

Partner With the Beef & Pork Experts
While there may be uncertainty around the upcoming holidays, it doesn’t mean you should delay planning for and prepping your meat case. We can help with programs and marketing support for the holidays – and every season.
1 Numerator, Consumer Survey 2022 Holiday Preview, February 2022
2 Midan Marketing, Meat Consumer Tracking Survey, April 2022
4 IRI, The Balance Between Premiumization and Affordability, October 2021
5 Chicory, Report: The Top Recipe and Grocery Trends for 2022

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