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Smaller portions, new flavours can offset rising beef and pork prices: Technomic


April 20, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

April 20, 2015, Chicago – Smaller portions and “value” cuts prepared with unique seasonings, spices, sauces and condiments may help cut costs and create customer interest in these proteins, suggests a recent report by reserach firm Technomic.

Most consumers who eat beef (91 per cent) and pork (66 per cent) do so as a centre-of-the-plate option at least once a week. However, a sharpened focus on healthful eating and rising commodity prices are impacting consumption. Health is the top consumption deterrent for both beef and pork. Further, more than a fifth of consumers who eat beef entrées say rising beef prices have caused them to dine out less often or order fewer beef entrées at restaurants than they did a year ago. How can operators and suppliers turn the tide?

“Smaller portions and ‘value’ cuts prepared with unique seasonings, spices, sauces and condiments may help cut costs and spur consumer interest in these proteins,” said Kelly Weikel, Director, Consumer Insights at Technomic, in a news release. “Communicating nutritional content and utilizing health-halo descriptors can help address negative health perceptions and may boost incremental sales, particularly among younger consumers.”

The report, enitled “Center of The Plate: Beef and Pork Consumer Trend Report,” highlights several insights:

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  • Flavourful spices, glazes, marinades, sauces and condiments can convey a premium aspect to beef and pork entrees that may justify higher price points to consumers.
  • Health-halo descriptors like “lean” and “organic” boost both health and taste perceptions for beef and pork. A majority of consumers (65 per cent) find items described as “natural” to be more healthful and 44 per cent find them to be tastier. Eighty-four per cent find items described as “lean” to be more healthful, while 43 per cent find lean to be tastier.
  • Social responsibility will become more important for beef and pork; many who eat beef and pork place high importance on humane animal treatment (42 and 41 per cent, respectively) and country of origin labels (43 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively).