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Finding New Applications for Meat Based on Consumer Trends

Finding New Applications for Meat Based on Consumer Trends


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Finding New Applications for Meat Based on Consumer Trends

15 Sep 2021

Jack Payne
Bacon freshly fried

Consumer lifestyle changes are fueling increased demand for meat, particularly as a snack and as a breakfast option. UK meat consumption generally grew 8% during 2020, and in the USA, meat consumption in 2020 reached a new record of 224.63 pounds per person.  

Pandemic induced lockdowns led to a 38% increase in in-home meals. Commuters starting the day without their normal commute opted to eat breakfast with their family instead. This trend is set to continue, as organizations globally are adopting flexible working patterns. 

Additionally, lifestyle changes and consumer preferences for healthier and tasty savory snacks that leave you feeling fuller are driving increases in meat snacking demand. In some markets, such as the UK, charcuterie is emerging as a popular breakfast and snacking option.    

A perfect storm of consumer trends point to diversification into new breakfast and meat snacking options as a possible growth strategy for meat producers.

What Are the New, and Not So New, Breakfast Options?

The full English / American / Irish breakfasts, alongside the breadth of European charcuterie, show that meat is already a staple breakfast option for many households. Mintel International’s Breakfast Foods - US Report reveals that 64% of US consumers “think a healthy breakfast should be high in protein."

Although American breakfasts are still dominated by bacon and sausages, convenience breakfasts in the form of, for example, breakfast burritos, are growing in popularity. This trend is growing into experimenting with European flavors and meats at breakfast tables in the USA.

Convenience breakfasts are growing in popularity in other markets. For example, according to research into diet trends in the Netherlands by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, an increase in on-the-go breakfast products has been observed, with a focus on breakfast bars and pouched yogurts. This offers opportunities for meat-based breakfast bars, and protein focused bars, if correctly marketed to a nation that has a diet comprising 25% animal products.    

Changing breakfast habits in the UK have led to an increase in traditional breakfast meats. The UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) senior retail insights manager Kim Malley told Food Manufacture, “For pig meat the biggest growth is coming through sausages and bacon, and as consumers have more time at home, we have seen a rise in hot breakfast and lunch occasions.”

Alongside traditional breakfast meats, in the UK home-grown charcuterie is growing in popularity, and not just using pork, offering options for producers of other meats. British Charcuterie Live founder Henriette Green explains: “Although pork predominates, we have some sensational charcuterie made with game, lamb, beef and poultry.” 

Meat Snacking Offers Consumers Variety and Means Feeling Fuller 

Multiple drivers have led to sharp increases in meat snacking, ranging from a preference for savory snacks, through seeking new flavors and healthier options, to a desire to feel fuller when snacking. Research by Harris Interactive published in The Grocer shows that just under half of UK snackers prefer a savory option, with a third eating meat at least once each week.

This popularity is mirrored in the USA, where research firm Technotronic reports in the Provisioner that 52% of consumers agree “high in protein” is a very appealing snack attribute. A growing number of American consumers are looking for healthier and protein-rich options that are convenient travel snacks or provide benefits during outdoor pursuits. 

Although only one in five UK consumers see meat snacks as a healthy option, they are perceived as replacing salty alternatives, with high protein, lower sugar and gluten free as other benefits, particularly for younger consumers in the 25-34 age bracket.

Harris Interactive’s research also highlights that meat snacks are also increasingly finding their way into school lunchboxes, with 63% of moms and 55% of dads agreeing that meat snacks are a good option for children’s lunchboxes. 

How Can Meat Producers Benefit from Diversification?

Meat consumption continues to grow globally, and the snacking and breakfast segments offer opportunities to develop added value and high margin products. With multiple drivers increasing meat marketing options that meet consumer demand, a strategic marketing window exists for agile meat producers to diversify into new products and markets.

However, when diversifying into new product lines with totally different and potentially complex processes, meat producers have plenty of scope to make expensive mistakes. Every new product is a risk, but this can be mitigated by using the right software solution, such as a food-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

Food and beverage ERP includes core features ideal for supporting traditional meat companies to develop and launch new breakfast and snack options:

  • Recipe and product management modules to help you fine-tune new recipes, gauge cost-effectiveness and find the right product faster.

  • Variable weight functionality, which enables accurate inventory management and correct retail pricing for meat snacking and breakfast products that are based on differently sized meat cuts.

  • Bi-directional ingredient tracking and allergen management that is suited to multiple product lines.

  • Collaborative forecasting and planning to ensure the perfect balance of resources.

  • Supply chain excellence features that supports a range of product variations.

An ERP for meat processors brings all parts of a food business into closer alignment, providing one source of data truth across the organization. This makes it easier—especially for larger companies—to establish their own “start-ups” for new and exciting meat snack and breakfast product lines that are managed separately but are still integrated into the core business.

A food ERP can help businesses effectively adapt their processes from basic meat production to meat snack product manufacturing.

Using an effective meat ERP, companies can scale new operations more quickly and with confidence—something many meat businesses will be looking to do to capitalize on new opportunities in the coming years.

To learn more about our purpose-built meat and seafood solution—Aptean Food & Beverage ERP—and how it can aid your meat business when growing product lines, get in touch with our team of food and beverage industry experts today.

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Sandwich stacked with toppings.