Moving the Meat Case Online

The pandemic rapidly moved consumers from brick and mortar to the world of e-commerce retail — and that’s where they’re staying.

Like almost all U.S. online retail sales during the pandemic, the number of shoppers getting their meat through consumer-oriented e-commerce services increased sharply, up 12% from 2019. And not only were more shoppers ordering meat online; they were ordering more of it, period.

As pandemic restrictions loosen, 23% of meat consumers expect to continue buying most, if not all, their meat online.

When it comes to managing the online meat case, a whole new set of challenges surface. To retain current customers and win new ones, retailers need to think about how their products perform outside of the traditional in-store meat case.


How well do your fresh meat products travel to a customer’s doorstep? Meat packaging performance plays an even more critical role in online sales as consumers laser in on food safety, ease of use and convenience. There’s a number of case ready meat packaging options out there and it pays to know which is right for you, and your online shoppers.
Ground beef makes up 38% of the meat purchased online. Both brick pack and chub packaging are leakproof and freezer ready for a convenient no-mess experience, with brick packs having the added benefit of a compact design for easy storing.

Vacuum and roll stock packaging optimization are also key elements to improving the consumer experience at home. Portioned and packaged to cook right away or easily freeze for later use, they also maximize meat case shelf life for reduced shrink.

Portion Cut Proteins

Portion cut products aren’t just a foodservice staple — efficiencies in cutting, fabrication and portion control streamline processes for retail operations. On the shopper’s end, they’re getting consistency, quality and know precisely what to expect when placing an online fresh meat order.

Specialty Cuts

While at-home cooking increased, so did “cooking fatigue.” Shaking things up became a must, with consumers trying more experimentation and substitution, creating a big opportunity for retailers.

For those who are still hesitant to branch out in the kitchen, pre-cut meats including sliced, diced and cubed beef and pork can make proteins more approachable and easier to use.

Another simple way to differentiate yourself from the competition in-store and online? Offer specialty cuts online and capture a wider market with things like Case Ready Variety Meats and Reuben® Corned Beef products.

Seasoned & Marinated

If convenience is king, variety is a close second. And when it comes to delivering proteins with both, there’s no better solution than pre-seasoned and marinated products.

Value added meat has been a growth driver for several years and the core segment of value added shoppers was also identified as early online adaptors. Because of their frequent online purchases, they make fewer in-store trips and when they do, they tend to purchase meat for one meal at a time.
Eighteen percent of meat shoppers expect they will purchase more value added products in the upcoming year. Expanding your profile of flavor options and cuts online positions your business to engage and retain this growing audience.

Case Ready Branded Offerings

Studies show the main driver in shopper’s preference for branded fresh meat is a perception of better quality, taste and flavor.

The pandemic also resulted in more shoppers focusing on food safety. Thirty-seven percent of consumers say they have a higher confidence that national brands are safer to eat.

Branded programs present an excellent opportunity to go beyond the meat case and create the familiarity and consistency essential to winning repeat customers.

To establish the familiarity and consistency essential to winning repeat customers, the team at Tyson Fresh Meats developed a comprehensive portfolio of brands to fit retailers’ case ready needs.

This portfolio includes Chairman’s Reserve® Meats, the only national brand offering both fresh Angus beef and fresh pork in multiple quality tiers; the consistently flavorful taste of Star Ranch Angus® beef; Open Prairie® Natural Meats, a back-to-basics line of wholesome beef and pork; and the household name Tyson® beef, pork and chicken.


Getting the meat case solutions that work for you takes a partner that not only understands today’s market, but where it’s heading. Our team brings more than product to the case: We deliver strategic omnichannel retail marketing, data-driven consumer insights and unprecedented customer service support for e-commerce.
In-store or online, the demand for meat is still going strong. If you want protein innovations to go to work solving your e-commerce needs, reach out today to get started.
Source: Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal, 210 Analytics LLC, The Power of Meat 2021:  An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shopper’s Eyes, Report sponsored by Sealed Air Food Care Division/Cryovac® and Published by Food Marketing Institute Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education

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