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Poultry sales positive despite recession

Amidst the recession, there are some positive signs for fresh meat and poultry sales at retail, according to new research presented during the Worldwide Food Expo in Chicago, US.

Merrill Shugoll of Shugoll Research and Michael Uetz of Midan Marketing focused on what consumers said about their meat and poultry purchases. Their findings covered an online survey of 500 US shoppers in January 2009 and September 2009 as well as FreshLook Marketing sales data.

Approx. two-thirds of consumers surveyed said their shopping patterns have changed in some way due to the economic downturn. Specific behaviours included buying more items on sale, buying cheaper items or looking for cheaper prices. The leading response, according to Shugoll, was that shoppers are looking for value.

She noted that although 2% of respondents said in September they were buying less meat and poultry (included buying less expensive cuts, buying products on sale and using smaller quantities of meat and poultry in recipes) because of the recession, 5% said the same thing in January, indicating stabilisation in shopping patterns.

In terms of sales data, Uetz revealed a 12.3% increase in total pounds of fresh meat and poultry purchased in the third quarter of 2009 versus the third quarter of 2008. "Summer grilling was an exceptional time for us," he said. "Even in a recession, the retail environment is going to benefit. Consumers are still buying meat."

Shugoll and Uetz noted that chicken has been the biggest winner at retail thanks largely to competitive prices. Another trend noted was that consumers are moving back to conventional retailers to buy meat and poultry, although mass merchandisers are also doing well as a secondary option for meat and poultry purchases. Additionally, consumers have purchased more of all branded meat and poultry products in the past year.

Source: Meatingplace

Related link:

The Shugoll Research report (PDF)

Worldwide Food Expo

Natalie Berkhout

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