Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Packaged Red Meat Consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Retail red meat experienced a substantial sales boost in 2020 as consumers turned to home cooking during the pandemic. Maintaining that momentum in coming years, however, will be a challenge as consumers continue to weigh health concerns and increasingly take ethical and environmental considerations into account as well. Still, red meat remains a dietary staple for most Americans, and the category possesses considerable assets, including great taste and extensive variety. Continued growth and red meat consumption trends will require marketers and retailers to accentuate these positives and mitigate the negatives.

Read on to discover more about the US Packaged Red Meat consumer market, read our The Future of Animal Protein, Meat Alternatives: 2021 report, or take a look at our other Food And Foodservice research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior, the red meat market, and red meat research.
  • Red meat use occasions.
  • Latest research on red meat.
  • Interest in value-added red meat concepts.
  • Attitudes toward red meat concerning health, the environment and animal welfare.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Interstate Meat Distributors, Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods, Hickory Foods, QUaker Maid Meats, Hormel Foods, Meyer Natural Foods, JBS USA Holdings, Force of Nature, High Plains Bison, Niman Ranch, Hatfield Montreal, Wegmans, Laura’s Lean Beef, McClaren Farms, Walmart, Creekstone Farms, COstco, Albertsons, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Hormel, Verde, Ruprecht, Wegmans Food You Feel Good About, Andy Garcia Foods.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by John Owen, a leading analyst in the Food and Retail sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Like most retail food and drink categories, red meat got a big boost in sales during the pandemic as consumers cut back on restaurant dining and did more home cooking. Maintaining that momentum in the years to come, however, will be a challenge for the red meat industry as older meat eaters cut back due to health concerns and younger consumers weigh their appreciation for red meat’s protein content against ethical and environmental considerations.
John Owen, Associate Director, Food and Retail
John Owen

Associate Director, Food and Retail

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on red meat
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on red meat, May 2021
    • Challenges and opportunities
    • Younger consumers trending away from beef and pork
      • Figure 2: Red meat types consumed, by age, January 2021
    • Health concerns drive down consumption
      • Figure 3: Reasons for decreasing red meat consumption, by age, January 2021
    • Reimagining the red meat case as a menu of meal ideas
      • Figure 4: Attitudes toward red meat – Ideas and education, by age, January 2021
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Pandemic, rising prices drive strong growth
    • Beef dominates category
    • Red meat, especially beef, wins over other proteins in fun, not function
    • A more inspiring meat case
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Pandemic, rising prices drive strong growth
      • Figure 5: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of packaged red meat, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast packaged red meat, at current prices, 2015-25
  5. Segment Performance

    • Beef dominates category
      • Figure 7: Sales of packaged red meat, by segment, 2015-20
  6. Market Factors

    • Food spending shifts to retail from foodservice during pandemic
      • Figure 8: Sales of food at home and away from home, November 2019-March 2021
    • Rising prices contribute to red meat sales increase in 2020
      • Figure 9: Changes in consumer food price indexes – Meats, poultry and fish, 2018-21
    • Home cooking could stay elevated after the pandemic
      • Figure 10: Pandemic-driven changes in behavior, October 2020
    • Aging population could slow category growth
      • Figure 11: US population, by age, 2016-26
    • Red meat, especially beef, wins over other proteins in fun, not function
      • Figure 12: Protein associations, correspondence analysis, October 2020
      • Figure 13: Protein associations, October 2020
  7. Market Opportunities

    • A more inspiring meat case
    • Reaching younger red meat eaters with value-added products
    • Growing need to address sustainability and animal welfare
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Private label dominates, but smaller competitors gain share
    • Smaller premium brands differentiate on animal welfare
  9. Market Share

    • Private label dominates, but smaller competitors gain share
      • Figure 14: Multi-outlet sales of packaged red meat, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
  10. Competitive Strategies

    • Animal welfare increasingly an expectation for premium brands
    • Sustainable farming practices poised to gain ground
    • New Walmart private label steak line places focus on sourcing transparency
    • Value-added red meat products gain momentum
    • Free-from claims on the rise
      • Figure 15: Incidence of packaging claims on red meat product launches, 2015-21
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Despite concerns, red meat consumption remains nearly universal
    • Most consumers report little change in red meat consumption
    • Mix of everyday and special occasions drives red meat usage
    • Young purchasers’ attribute priorities reflect a conflicted view of red meat
    • Value-added products more likely to appeal to younger shoppers
    • Reimagining the red meat case as a menu of meal ideas
  12. Red Meat Types Consumed

    • Despite concerns, red meat consumption remains nearly universal
      • Figure 16: Red meat types consumed, January 2021
    • Younger consumers trending away from beef and pork
      • Figure 17: Red meat types consumed, by age, January 2021
    • Beef and pork trail chicken in consumption frequency
      • Figure 18: Protein consumption frequency, October 2020
    • Opportunity to introduce shoppers to more types and forms of red meat
      • Figure 19: Beef cuts consumed, January 2021
      • Figure 20: Pork cuts consumed, January 2021
  13. Changes in Red Meat Consumption

    • Most consumers report little change in red meat consumption
    • Men and younger adults more likely to report an increase
      • Figure 21: Changes in red meat consumption, by age and gender, January 2021
    • Nutrition and culinary interest drive increased consumption
      • Figure 22: Reasons for increasing red meat consumption, January 2021
    • Health concerns drive down consumption
    • Environmental concerns remain in background but are poised to grow in importance
      • Figure 23: Reasons for decreasing red meat consumption, by age, January 2021
  14. Protein Use Occasions

    • Mix of everyday and special occasions drives red meat usage
      • Figure 24: Protein use occasions, January 2021
    • Younger beef eaters could be open to higher use throughout the day
      • Figure 25: Protein use occasions – Beef, by age, January 2021
  15. Red Meat Attribute Importance

    • Keeping it clean and natural becoming an expectation
    • More narrowly focused claims have the potential to differentiate
      • Figure 26: Red meat attribute importance, January 2021
    • Young purchasers’ attribute priorities reflect a conflicted view of red meat
      • Figure 27: Red meat attribute importance, by age, January 2021
  16. Interest in Red Meat Features

    • Packaging-related features draw interest
    • Local sourcing a priority for some and an opportunity for private label
      • Figure 28: Interest in red meat features, January 2021
    • Value-added products more likely to appeal to younger shoppers
      • Figure 29: Interest in red meat features, by age, January 2021
  17. Attitudes toward Red Meat

    • An especially tasty source of protein and other nutrients
      • Figure 30: Attitudes toward red meat, January 2021
    • Reimagining the red meat case as a menu of meal ideas
      • Figure 31: Attitudes toward red meat – Ideas and education, by age, January 2021
    • Concern for environment and animal welfare tied to changes in consumption
      • Figure 32: Attitudes toward red meat – Environmental impact and animal welfare, by change in red meat consumption versus a year ago, January 2021
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 33: Total US retail sales and forecast of packaged red meat, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 34: Total US retail sales and forecast of beef, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 35: Total US retail sales and forecast of beef, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 36: Total US retail sales and forecast of pork, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 37: Total US retail sales and forecast of pork, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 38: Total US retail sales and forecast of other red meat, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 39: Total US retail sales and forecast of other red meat, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25

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