How Variety Meats, Oxtail and More Can Attract New Shoppers

Consumers are seeking international flavors in the grocery store meat case, including variety meats such as oxtail.

The United States is becoming more diverse, and so are the appetites of Americans, especially those who belong to the millennial and Gen Z generations.

So what food trends are emerging for these and other consumers and what might they mean for your meat case? Here’s what trend spotters are seeing, saying and confirming.

Sliced pork eye of round dish served with summer vegetables

Adoption Stage

Trends are often first identified by what’s on the menu of buzz-worthy restaurants and specialty grocers. Cuisine types currently in the “adoption” stage include1:
Middle Eastern
Regional Chinese

Proliferation Stage

Once cuisine types are featured at chain restaurants and in large grocery retailers, they have reached the “proliferation” stage.1 Such cuisines include1:
Regional Mexican
Regional Italian

Beef ramen bowl with fresh and pickled vegetables

Consumers in general became more comfortable with cooking as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. In response to this year’s rise in inflation, many are trying to replicate their favorite restaurant meals at home. To be successful, they need to be able to purchase the fresh meats and innovative proteins that these dishes may require.

Examples include oxtail and other variety meats. Searches on Yelp for oxtail were up 45% in 2022 over the previous year.2 Other underutilized cuts have grown in popularity, such as cow’s head and tongue that are used in South Texas-style barbecue, a style that 36% of consumers are interested in trying.3 A significant percentage of millennials – 20% – are interested in trying organ cuts.4

Fastest growing spice trends over the past four years6:
• Tajín – up 302%
• Turmeric – up 91%
• Furikake – up 75%
• Chili Powder – up 55%
• Lavender – up 45%

Retailers also should take note of the substantial buying power of African American, Asian American and Native American consumers, which was estimated at $3 trillion in 2020. That’s up from $458 billion in 1990.5 Hispanics’ buying power in 2020 was estimated at $1.9 billion, compared to $213 billion in 1990, and now accounts for 11.1% of total U.S. buying power.5

For many of these consumers, variety meats such as beef tongue, tripe and sweetbreads are not new taste experiences – they’re comfort food. Tyson Foods offers more than 20 variety meat SKUs to meet the needs of shoppers who crave these meats.

Beef tongue sandwich

International Flavors, Simplified

Seasoned and marinated meats are a way to introduce new flavors to shoppers who want the convenience of value-added products. Tyson Foods offers seasoned and marinated pork in smoky, savory and sweet flavors that can be used in Asian tacos, for example, or Latin American jerk recipes.

Bring the World to Your Meat Display Case

Staying ahead of trends requires consistent effort. Tyson Foods can help you find the right mix of portion cut favorites, variety meats and convenient seasoned and marinated beef and pork products to meet your customers’ needs.

1 Datassentials Global Inspiration Report, October 2021
2 Yelp’s 2023 Food Trends
3 Datassentials Creative Concepts, Next-Gen BBQ, August 2022
4 Datassentials Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Keynote, February 2022
6 Datassentials Trend Watch: Seasoning Trends, August 2022

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