Global Meat Trends are following overall Food Trends and like all these trends, some countries adopt them quicker than others but in some way, either diluted or on a more pure application, they are all relevant to the South African market.
Trends in meat are from a retail and foodservice perspective but capture the needs of the consumer. Meat remains a traditional category with low levels of innovation in comparison to other fresh food sectors. Local and traditional preferences for types and cuts of meat remain unchanged and dominate the wider consumer offer through retail and foodservice.
However, the demand by the consumer and lifestyle changes are changing the way retailers and foodservice are communicating, branding and selling fresh meat products.
Provenance, mention of specific breeds and the messaging on pack has seen this category becoming more about “theatre” than butchery shopping. This education and interest in the category has also allowed new cuts to be introduced to the customer.
Sticking to theatre, the rise of cooking at home and in response to Master Chef type TV programs new flavours and premarinated packaged meat is more available. Customers are more exploratory and braver but still want convenience.
Provenance and transparency in meat is a growing trend and although it sits mostly in the premium sector, the less premium customer is asking about source and safety. Free range is much easier to find even though the understanding of the benefits is not really clear. If not Free Range, source and breed is being questioned and it is the need that is pushing the provenance trend into new space. This in store communication and connection of consumer to source is creating new ways for retailers and producers to connect to a growing group of discerning meat consumers.
Wagyu and Angus are examples of Breed branding that have been successful in Australia and the US. Angus was adopted by MacDonald to attract burger eaters.
The old days of butchers and close relationships with the man behind the counter have all but gone but the in-store butchery counters are attempting to imitate this old way of interacting. However, boutique butcheries are springing up everywhere and “butchery 101” is on its way back to homes and retailers.
These new-wave butchers and meat shops don't just sell meat, they sell the story - where the animal came from and how it was grown - and the means to turn meat into a meal. The new butcher takes old-fashioned values and marries them with new-fashioned options.
Most importantly whilst incorporating all these trends and consumer needs is the over riding need for better value. The economic situation worldwide continues to challenge consumers’ pockets and value for money is still a key concern. Trading down to affordable cuts and mincemeat is more of a choice than ever. Individually portioned bulk packs are on the rise as it allows for smaller families to access bulk shopping.
Meat eating has grown in double figure percentages over the last 10 years despite initiatives such as “meat free Monday” and other environmental and health campaigns and with diets such as the Paleolithic and cavemen diets appearing in Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines, meat eating is here to stay.