Meat Sales Surpass $50B, Plant-Based Gains Ground

Abby Kleckler
Senior Digital & Tech Editor
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Meat Sales Surpass $50B, Plant-Based Gains Ground

Meat and poultry sales grew 1.0% over 2019 to $50.4 billion, according to The Power of Meat 2020 report from FMI – The Food Industry Association and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education.

The survey looked at consumption trends and consumer interest in topics like production claims and sustainability.  When it comes to meat consumption, moderation is far more popular than elimination, with flexitarians (12%) looking to reduce their animal protein through smaller portion sizes and/or a day without meat/poultry.

"One of the most compelling storylines in the analysis is that 83% of shoppers purchase specific cuts of meat and they are eating smaller portions," says FMI Vice President, Fresh Foods, Rick Stein, "But with total volume sales up slightly, that means they are eating less more often.”

Meat brands continued to benefit from being a preferred purchase among younger shoppers, but 2019 was a strong year for private brands (up 12.3%). Shoppers say they want to hear from brands about nutrition (58%), food safety practices (57%), animal care practices (46%) and the brand’s environmental impact (40%).

The top 10 takeaways from The Power of Meat 2020 were:

  1. Meat and poultry sales grew 1.0% over 2019 to $50.4B.
  2. Plant-based meat alternatives are a small but growing market (growing 11.8% in 2019).
  3. Time-saving solutions drive meat and cooking appliance choices.
  4. Influenced by healthy and ethical living, production claims remain popular.
  5. Promotional ads remain relevant but there is increased focus on in-store communication.
  6. Eighty-five percent of shoppers buy just a handful of cuts and kinds of meat and poultry.
  7. Supermarkets remain meat powerhouses with some gains in online meat sales.
  8. Brands continued to benefit from being a preferred purchase among younger shoppers.
  9. Sixty-eight percent of shoppers feel it is important for grocery stores to provide transparency into how and where livestock was raised.
  10. Sustainability concerns impact meat and poultry choices, but 49% believe, if done properly, animal agriculture does not have negative impacts on the planet.

The Power of Meat was conducted by 210 Analytics and is made possible by Cryovac, A Division of Sealed Air.

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